Most of us will be familiar with at least some of Dr. Seuss’ work (who pronounced his name ‘soyce’, in a way that it rhymed with ‘joyce’) but not many know that he is in fact the world’s best-selling children’s author (having sold over 650 million books worldwide!!!). A fact difficult to comprehend, given that he himself did not have any biological children. ‘You make ’em. I’ll amuse ’em’ he said and indeed, he did. His own explanation to his phenomenal talent to write kids books was that he in fact, did not write for children– he wrote for people, treating children as equals.
He wrote dozens of amazing books and I am in awe when I think about how much there is in them to enjoy!
THEY ARE AS FUNNY AS THEY ARE IMAGINATIVE
This is the main ingredient of Dr Seuss’ success. His imagination had absolutely no barriers and he himself promoted not just thinking outside the box, but living and thriving outside of it!
Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the Thinks you can think up if only you try.
To say they are captivating would be an understatement. Dr. Seuss created a world where words and pictures are inseparable and are equally funny, charming and unique. Worm N° 1 frequently spends ages just turning the pages of any of his books and looking at the pictures.
THEY ARE GREAT TO READ ALOUD
The stories are beautifully rhythmical which makes them a pleasure to read out loud (and listen to them!), I often find that without much thinking I always emphasise the rhyming words/sentences which can help emergent literacy development.
THEY HELP TO DEVELOP READING SKILLS AND ARE GREAT FOR RELUCTANT READERS
It is the frequent repetition, playful rhymes and unusual using of words that look and sound familiar that makes Dr. Seuss books so great as Learning to Read books. My top choice has always been Green Eggs and Ham (that contains only 50 words!) which, I shall proudly admit, I do know by heart.
THEY TEACH LIFE LESSONS
Dr. Seuss has very skilfully tackled a lot of ever significant issues in his books without a hint of being patronising. Just a few examples here:
- Caring about the planet in ‘Lorax’
“UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
- Anti-Consumerism in ‘Lorax’
“I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads
of the Thneeds I shipped out. I was shipping them forth
to the South! To the East! To the West! To the North!
I went right on biggering…selling more Thneeds.
And I biggered my money, which everyone needs
- Racial equality in ‘The Sneetches’
“That Sneetches are Sneetches
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.”
- Facism in ‘Yertle the Turtle’
“Down here below, we are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
But down at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
- Internationalism (and generally treating people with respect) in ‘Horton Hears a Who’
“Dont give up! I believe in you all!
A person’s a person, no matter how small!”
- Being true to yourself ‘Happy Birthday to You’
Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
And when it comes to our favourites? A VERY tough choice but it would need to be either Green Eggs and Ham or The Ultimate Tongue twister, Fox in Socks. I dare anyone to read it and not mince their words. Or have a chuckle:)
Title/Series Dr. Seuss books published by HarperCollins (rrp £6.99)
Illustrations by Dr. Seuss – quirky, funny
Type Picture books
Causes Giggles? Heaps of giggles
Rhymes? Oh yes!
Good for: Reading out loud, learning to read
Perfect Worm Age: 2-7 years (depending on the book!)
🐛 Worms’ Rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎 (=scrumptious)
🐞 Mama’s Rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎 (=scrumptious)