We read many of these books to go along with our Dr. Seuss weekly theme.
This story is ultimately about realizing that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. A traveller leaves his home, where "hardly any thing bad ever happens," setting out for another place where "nothing bad ever happens." Lots of bad things happen to him along the way, and when he gets where he's going, he realizes that he should just go back home. This book is a little bit too long to convey such a simple message.
I love, love, love this book, and it is the only one from the week that we ended up purchasing. This book was published posthumously, and is a completely different style than other Seuss. It goes through many different emotions and how those emotions might be described by using different colors. The art is unlike any Dr. Seuss book you've seen, simple and abstract, but perfect for conveying the feelings described on the pages. My toddler requested this one several times a day, and I happily obliged. It is also short-ish, unlike most Dr. Seuss.
Another of the shorter books we read this week, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff shows outline shadow drawings of many objects, both real and imagined. It gives an interesting perspective on looking at things differently. We read this book several times during the week, and enjoyed completing our shape matching activity to go along with it!
Wacky Wednesday is sort of like an old school version of an I Spy book, except that you don't know exactly what you are looking for. A child wakes up one morning and keeps discovering things that are wacky, like a shoe stuck to the wall. Each page tells you how many wacky things you need to look for on that page. This one was lots of fun for the kids. They excitedly pointed to the pages as we read, and we had some counting practice as we kept track of how many things we had found.
In the Dr. Seuss world, there are many letters that come after Z. They're all nonsensical, or course, and are used to spell the names of nonsensical animals or places. This book doesn't have much of a story, and isn't terribly creative. You can probably skip this one.
Young Peter T. Hooper makes scrambled eggs with eggs from all kinds of exotic birds from around the globe. While some of the birds he gets eggs from are silly and made my girls laugh, this book, like some of the others on this list, doesn't have much of a story. And it is loooooong.
Can you just look at the cover of this book and tell that you're going to love ol' Thidwick? Thidwick is a big-hearted moose who lets a bug take up residence in his antlers. The bug invites his friends, and before long there is a veritable zoo living on top of poor Thidwick. He lets them stay (they are guests, after all) until the situation becomes out of hand. Then he finds a most gracious way to move on with his life. I fell in love with Thidwick and this book-- it's a keeper.
An old wise man tells a young boy how lucky he is that he is not in other, less fortunate circumstances. The book goes through outrageous Seussian jobs, places, and other situations that would be frustrating or uncomfortable. This one is long, and almost TOO nonsensical. In most Dr. Seuss books there is at least something familiar in the pictures or language that children can latch on to, but in this one, the scenes are completely crazy and there are too many made up words. This is not his best work.
Daisy-Head Mayzie was published posthumously, and the artwork is done in the style of the current cartoon TV show. A daisy sprouts from a young girl's head. Everyone fusses over her for various reasons (doctor, florist, scientist, celebrities), and then the daisy just suddenly goes away once Daisy realizes that people love her even without her special flower. The ending is a bit unsatisfactory, and I can just imagine Dr. Seuss feeling like it just wasn't quite ready for publication (and I think he was right).
I absolutely loved this book! This one was also published posthumously, and was finished by Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith based on several couplets of text, some sketches, and some discussions with Dr. Seuss's editor. The book holds true to both Dr. Seuss's artistic style and his worldview. Students at the Diffendoofer school 'do school' a little bit differently, and are concerned when they are required to take a standardized test. To their delight, they do just fine and are allowed to continue on in their wonderful school. As a parent who is a bit concerned about the 'institutional' nature of public schools in this country, the message of this book resonated strongly with me. Additionally, the art work is a perfect blend of collage, original sketches, and familiar characters and compliments the whimsical nature of this book. This book was my favorite of the week.
First of all, I was almost through the first story in this book before I realized that lick meant fight. I read it almost all the way through wondering why in the world the cat wanted to lick the tigers. It was funnier once I realized what was going on! This book contains 3 stories, each one a nice length and about a funny concept. I like shorter Seuss, so this one gets a thumbs-up from me.
It's a shame that the spirit of this book is so unfriendly, because otherwise it is quite clever! The main character is having a party and is inviting lots of friends. He lists them all, several names starting with each letter of the alphabet. But his is NOT inviting Hooper Humperdink, because he doesn't like him. Finally at the end of the book, the speaker changes his mind and decides to invite Hooper. It is only in that last line of the book when the tone changes, but the rest of the book is very unfriendly. Boo.
Here is another collection of 4 shorter Seuss stories. The most well known is the Sneetches, but the other stories are entertaining as well. These short story collections are nice because you can read them before nap or bedtime and just choose however many stories you feel like reading. They're also a great way to introduce younger children, who may not have the attention span for a full length Dr. Seuss story, to the author.
After a farmer chastises a young boy for thinking that he might catch any fish in McElligot's tiny little pool, the boy goes through his Seussian list of fish he might catch. Maybe the little pool is connected via underground stream to the ocean, which opens up the possibilities of the type that he might catch. Mr girls enjoyed seeing and giggling at the imaginary fish, but there really isn't much of a story here.
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