'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' is Published

In 1957, at the age of 53, Seuss published The Grinch, and thousands of children first discovered the story of the Whos -- an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit -- and the outsider so sickened by their joy in the season that he decides to hijack the holiday. The Grinch proves a natural at thieving, even lying to little Cindy Loo Who about his intentions as he stuffs the family tree up the chimney. Yet his efforts to ruin Christmas fail in the end.

Nine years after the publication of the book, television came calling. For help in translating his character to the screen, Seuss turned to Chuck Jones, the animator behind Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, the Roadrunner and many others. The two artists first met while collaborating -- imagine this -- on a series of military training films during World War II.

The Grinch, a bitter, cave-dwelling, catlike creature with a heart "two sizes too small," lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep, 3,000-foot (910 m) high mountain just north of Whoville, home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. His only companion is his faithful dog, Max. From his perch high atop Mount Crumpit, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Envious of the Whos' happiness, he makes plans to descend on the town and, by means of burglary, deprive them of their Christmas presents, holiday ham and decorations and thus "prevent Christmas from coming". However, he learns in the end that despite his success in stealing all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. His heart grows three sizes larger, he returns all the presents and trimmings, and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos.

The story, of a misanthrope who learns to love Christmas and humanity (or 'Who-manity'), bears some resemblance to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with the Grinch taking the role of Scrooge. However, unlike that story, where Scrooge converts by explicitly learning the error of his ways and the consequences thereof, the Grinch's sudden change of heart is the consequence of the error of his ways, albeit an unexpected one.