Spectacular Seuss


My break continues to go well, although my back’s a mess after all the post- Winter storm Stella shoveling I did yesterday.  Because it was such a wet and heavy snow all that was on the ground had cemented into something rather brick-like.
But it’s good for cardio, right? And having been semi-sedentary since Winter Ball, the feeling of being so wiped and wrung out was pleasant.  And I have a massage tonight, which will hopefully take care of my back, though I’m not sure what to do about the palms of my hands being bruised.

Anyway, have you heard of Dr. Seuss? A silly question because most everyone has, chances are you even have a favorite story.  I wanted to mention some of my favorites, which tend to be lesser known.
I promise there are some generally popular things I love, but I do tend to go my own way when it comes to literature and film. And there’s a good reason this time! The classic books were all ones we read (or had read to us) in school, while the more obscure stories were the ones I had at home, in a lovely compendium called ‘Six By Seuss’ (which definitely had more than six stories in it?). It’s still on my bookshelf.
And reading a book over and over again at home is always a different (better) memory that reading at school.

The Classics:

Horton Hears a Who: “On the 15th of May, in the Jungle of Nool, In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool, He was splashing… enjoying the jungle’s great joys… When Horton the elephant heard a small noise.”
Doesn’t it just give you shivers? And the animated film is also pretty adorable. Essentially for the Wickersham brothers. Are they even in the book? The movie is cute, but definitely a bit different (it’s a musical?).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: “Every Who Down in Whoville Liked Christmas a lot… But the Grinch,Who lived just north of Whoville, Did NOT!”
I love the Grinch. I love Max. I love Cindy Lou Who who was no more than two. I love the very accurate animated version. I even love the wildly stretched live action film with Jim Carrey.

Green Eggs and Ham: Don’t throw things at me but I always found this a bit repetitive. And if Sam were a real friend he would stop trying to force the other one (Daniel?) to eat what is likely moldy eggs and meat. Eww. Mean.
But it does remind me of when they used to dye our food green on St. Patrick’s Day in preschool. In which case, okay, not moldy. But Sam still seems like someone I would strangle.

The Cat in the Hat: I am the fish.


The Less Known:

The Sneetches: I never read The Sneetches (or The Butter Battle Book) as often as I wanted to because it wasn’t in my collection. I always wished they would read it to us at school. It has obvious humane/political implications if you read it as an adult, and for children it is very much fun.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins: BC takes off his hat before the king like all good citizens must, but unbeknownst to him he would seem to have a matryoshka-type situation with hats under his original hat, which gets him into rather a lot of trouble. Thankfully in the kingdom of Didd executioners won’t execute people who have their hats still on.

The Lorax: Even in youth I was an earthy crunchy tree-hugger and this was my favorite for years. If I really think about it, it may still be. I loved the Swamee Swans, Truffula trees, and of course the brow-beating eco-friendly message. You need a thneed!

Yertle the Turtle: “On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond, Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.” And Yertle is a raging despot who orders his subject turtles to pile one on top of the other until he has a turtle throne. It’s pretty wow.

Gertrude McFuzz: “There once was a bird named Gertrude McFuzz and she had the smallest plain tail ever was. One droopy droop, droopy droop feather. That’s all she had. And, oh! That one feather made Gertrude so sad.”
I lived for the drawings of the fancy feathers, and the idea of the pillberry bush, and, if I’m being honest the very pretty bird Lolla-Lee-Lou. Because I, like all children, was a snobbish little aesthete. I even thought the ending should have been different (thus missing the entire message of the story, GAH).
And you know, to be hair, if you look at the illustrations, her feather doesn’t look droopy droop at all. We are all our own worst critics.

Any favorite Dr. Seuss stories? I left out Hop on Pop and One Fish Two Fish because I never really read them. And I have an irrational hatred for Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

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