No, there was no prequel.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas was published in 1958, after appearing in Redbook magazine in December, 1957. Theodore Geisel, popularly known as Dr. Seuss, had considered writing a children's book revolving around the theme of the Christmas holiday for some time before actually writing the story. It became an immediate best seller.
Since publication, the story has been adapted for an animated television special, for live-action movie presentation, as a touring musical theater production, and has been translated into many languages besides English.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas was named one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time by the "School Library Journal" in a 2012 poll.