Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Dr. Seuss Dichotomy

My mom never liked Dr. Seuss books and so I've always had a bias against them.  But now my almost-five-year-old's preschool class is studying them and I'm developing a new appreciation for at least some of them.  She came home thrilled after they read Horton Hatches the Egg, repeating "An elephant's faithful, 100 percent!" ad nauseum.  But she explained to me she didn't like the Dr. Seuss books that are "just rhyming" like Fox in Socks.  Although she didn't have the vocabulary to express it, she likes books with plot.  (This might explain why she has a general aversion to poetry but makes an exception for narrative poetry, like Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems.)

This school unit exposed me to a Dr. Seuss book I wasn't familiar with (to be honest, he was so prolific that I am always discovering new ones): Please Try to Remember the First of Octember!  A parent keeps promising his child outlandish things... but not until "the first of Octember."  I don't think my daughter quite got the joke that the first of Octember would never come and therefore the parent would never have to make good on his promise, but I did and it amused me!  I also like I Am Not Going to Get Up Today! although the rhyme scheme peters out at the ending, and my kids love finding all the "wacky" things in Wacky Wednesday.  As for the "just rhyming" books, I have a soft spot for There's a Wocket in My Pocket! since I used to sing it to my older daughter.  It's rollicking rhythm just lends itself to song.  And how could I not like it after she told me that I'm her "zillow" because "the zillow on my pillow always helps me fall asleep"?

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?


  1. The only Dr. Seuss book I like is My Many Colored Days. And I always feel like I must be missing something since soooooo many literacy professionals think he is the cat's meow. Maybe I am just not smart enough to get his appeal. I also dislike his artwork. But, as you say, he wrote so many books perhaps I have not read the right ones yet. But I always steer clear of the Seuss section of the library because I dread having to read them out loud.

  2. I was never a fan of Dr Seuss books but my four year old loves them! We got a boxed set for Christmas and my daughter giggles all the way through reading. The more nonsensical the words the more she laughs - Mr Gump with his Wump makes her laugh as does the Nook with the book.

    My favourite is Green Eggs and Ham.

  3. I love Seuss! I always have. My favorite Dr. Seuss book with a "meatier" plot is definitely The Sneeches. It uses silly rhymes, but teaches diversity at the same time.

  4. I go hot and cold on Dr. Seuss. Horton Hears a Who remains a favorite even after all these years, but the Cat in the Hat doesn't do it for me. I wish you and your daughter much happiness exploring the Seuss canon.

  5. I've always liked Fox in Socks, despite its lack of plot. I remember loving the illustrations and taking a devilish glee at making my mom try to read it out loud. Now I love it as a readaloud because I get to show off!