Sunday, 28 June 2020

#Booky100Keepers Day 56: "The Books of Dr Seuss" (HarperCollins Children's Books)

These books are almost like family heirlooms! The late great Dr Seuss, one Theodore "Ted" Giesel himself is a master crafter of bouncy rhymes, outlandish characters and of course truly bad behaviour that kids absolutely cannot resist seeing in their picture books.

We started off reading these books fairly early on, hoovering up as many as we could clutch to our chests on our library visits, then later picking up three "keepers" ourselves.

The first we read and the first we bought was, of course, "The Cat in the Hat", the story of two children stuck in on a rainy day (shades of lockdown, anyone? Very surprised no one cashed in on redoing a version of this for lockdown tbh!) and a strange visitor who insinuates his way into their lives once their mother disappears to the shops.

The Cat in The Hat has some great ideas to stave off boredom. Unfortunately most of the ideas involve trashing the house or personal property, with only the family's pet fish acting as a voice of wisdom amidst the chaos. All the brilliant signatures of Seuss are here. Peerless pitch-perfect rhymes that tickle and dance off the tongue when you're reading this aloud. Outlandish characters, terrible calamities and inventive machines (the Cat's "tidy up" machine is still a marvel, we would dearly love a real one thanks very much!).

We also couldn't resist "Green Eggs and Ham" which was my fave Seuss book as a kid. This time Sam (I Am) finds himself fed up to the back teeth at the insistence of a friend that he tries the bizarre titular dish. How about in a box? With a fox? With some goats? On a boat perhaps?

The scenarios become more and more surreal and crazy as the book ramps up to a frenetic explosive chaotic finish before Sam decides it'd just be flipping easier to try the dish in question.

....and what do you know? He likes green eggs and ham after all (the lesson most parents will try and get their kids to take away from this book is that spinach, as gross as it looks, probably isn't really that bad so just give it a little lick!)

One thing about this book that always made C laugh were the strangely dead eyed expressions on the characters as their boat literally sinks out from under them after being hit by a train (it's a long story). As with "Cat" this one's a true joy to read aloud.

Then we come to our final Seuss "Keeper" which is NOT a joy to read aloud but I still relish the challenge anyway...

"Dr Seuss Makes Reading FUN!" claims the cover. No, actually Dr Seuss will make your mouth turn to mush, your tongue twist over itself, as you try to read "The Fox in Socks" out loud.

It used to be something of a challenge from C to me - to see how fast I could rattle through this book without making any mistakes. That is, of course, an impossible task particularly when you begin to talk of tweetle beetle battles in a bottle in a puddle, with a poodle and a paddle in a muddle.

Oh god, I can almost feel my anxiety rising...

Don't be put off though, this is still one of the best of Seuss many, many books and we've included a link to a few more below...

Original Review Links: 

ReaditDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 11th October 2019: "Dr Seuss' Horse Museum" by Dr Seuss and Andrew Joyner (Penguin Books)

The Lorax by Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children's Books)

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children's Books)

"...and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street" by Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children's Books)

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Booky Advent Calendar Day 12: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (60th Anniversary Edition) by Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children's Books)

The Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children's Books)

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week ending 21st June 2013 - "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr Seuss (HarperCollins Children's Books)