Sunday, June 26, 2011
DR. SEUSS once said “he had a hard time finding anyone to pay attention to his first children’s book.” Fortunately, he never gave up! Before he died, Dr. Seuss wrote over 60 books! While everyone is familiar with The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Horton the Elephant, there are many other Dr. Seuss books that are lesser known but are equally great. The following is a list of my favorites (For a complete list of books check out www.seussdude.com):
10. I’m NOT Going to Get Up Today
We’ve all had those days when we felt like staying in bed but the boy in this book takes it to a whole new level. Nothing can get him up! Not a shake of his bed or cold water on his head. His alarm can ring/the birds can peep/his bed is warm and his pillow is deep. No matter what his family, friends or neighbors do, this determined boy continues to sleep. Illustrated by James Stevenson, this charming story is a great beginner book for first time readers.
9. I Wish That I Had Duck Feet
Imagine what it would be like to have duck feet! Think of the things you could do. What if you had a whale spout, a very long tail or an elephant’s nose? In I Wish that I had Duck Feet, a young boy imagines what his life would be like with each of these things, however, in the end he realizes being himself is really the only way to be! Illustrated by B. Tobey, this is a very fun read aloud book for children ages 2 – 8.
8. I Can Read With My Eyes Shut
In this fun loving book the Cat in the Hat returns to teach a young cat the many reasons reading is important and all the fun that goes along with it! The more you read/the more things you will know/the more you learn/the more places you’ll go! With illustrations similar to Horton the Elephant and Oh the Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss’ clever rhymes teach us that reading is fun!
7. On Beyond Zebra
Conrad Cornelius O’Donald O’Dell thinks he knows everything there is to know since he has learned all 26 letters of the alphabet. But his friend, kindly, informs him otherwise. He advises him to open his eyes and go beyond the letter Z to find a whole new world. According to this young man, there is an entirely different alphabet out there for the exceptional characters that he encounters in his daily life. For example, there is a letter called WUM for Wumbus; a high-spouting whale who lives high on a hill and another letter called FUDDLE for Miss Fuddle-dee-Duddle; an exceptional bird with a very long tail. Such are the unique characters that occupy all the pages of Dr. Seuss’ books. On Beyond Zebra offers a great lesson on imagination and creativity and teaches us all to look beyond the letter Z.
6. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are
A cheerful old man sitting on top of a cactus delivers a clever message of positive thinking. By remembering how lucky you are not to have the troubles that others have, he advises, you’ll find happiness. Thank goodness, he says, you’re not poor Herbie Hart/who has taken his Throm-dim-bu-lator apart! Or the Schlottz whose tail is entailed with un-solvable knots! Entertaining and fun to read, I love Dr. Seuss’ optimistic message!
5. Daisy-Head Mayzie
Young Maisy, a seemingly average young girl is astounded one day when a daisy sprouts on top of her head! Try as they might no one can discover the reason for this oddity and Miss Maisy catches quite a bit of attention! This is a very cute story, one that has become a favorite with my children. Although, written in the 1960’s, the text for this book was not discovered until shortly after his death in 1991. His wife found this work and got it published. Little is known about the illustrator; however, the drawings were inspired by Seuss’s original sketches found with the manuscript.
4. Oh, The Thinks You Can Think
The king of imagination offers advice on using your brain creatively. Oh the thinks you can think up/if you only try, says Dr. Seuss. In this very silly book, Seuss gives us examples of what he can think up when he tries; a guff, schlopp, snuvs, bloogs and jibboos to name a few. Also, black water, white sky and Kitty O’Sullivan Krauss’ big balloon swimming pool over her house! Yes, Dr. Seuss was indeed the master of creativity. Oh how I love those silly words and quirky illustrations!
3. McElligot’s Pool
A young boy defends his decision to fish in a pond where there are no fish and states very imaginative reasons to support his theories! This is now one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. I find it interesting to see how different his early illustrations are. While you may notice recurring images such as the fish from One Fish, Two Fish the people and the buildings are more realistic. He really was quite a talented artist. The witty rhymes are the same and, as with all of his books, it is absolutely a joy to read.
2. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
Poor Bartholomew, he was trying to be respectful and polite by taking off his hat in front of his king but this particular hat was no ordinary hat! A bit of magic, perhaps, who knows but every time he tried to take it off an identical one appeared! Illustrated in black and white ink, Seuss added drama with a spot of red for the hat, emphasizing the story very well. This book is unique from other Dr. Seuss classics as it does not rhyme. It is long but highly imaginative and worth reading. Try breaking it down to a few pages a night.
1. I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew
Although nameless, the main character of this hilariously delightful story looks like most of Seuss’ heroes. This one resembles a young, less sinister looking Grinch. Unfortunately, this young guy has had his share of troubles and after experiencing one annoyance after the other he decides to travel to a place called Solla Sollew; where they never have troubles, at least, very few. But along the way he encounters MANY troubles; a treacherous road; a terrible storm; a flood; even a war! He finally reaches Solla Sollew only to discover yet another problem! Ultimately, he learns a valuable lesson: Although things may seem brighter elsewhere, eventually life catches up to you wherever you are. In the end, armed with a positive attitude and a newly found sense of determination he decides to head back home to face his problems.