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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


****The Sneetches and Other Stories

by Dr. Seuss

Reviewed March 9, 2002.
Random House, 1961.  65 pages.  Available at Sembach Library (E SEU).

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd, I wanted to pick one of my favorite picture books by Dr. Seuss.  This book has the stories “The Sneetches,” “The Zax,” “Too Many Daves,” and “What Was I Scared Of?”

My son and I were discussing “What Was I Scared Of?”  We agree that in all the world, in all of history, there’s no one else who everwould have thought of writing a story about pale green pants with nobodyinside them.  I still remember the spooky thrill I got as a child hearing that story.  For awhile, one of my sons insisted on skipping it.  It scares, but it fascinates.  Sort of a Very First Ghost Story.

I love the way he pulls off the atmosphere.  All the pages are in the dark of night, with only the narrator, the moon, and the pantsanother color.  The narrator insists he is not afraid.  I lovethis page-- “I said, ‘I do not fear those pants with nobody inside them.’  I said, and said, and said those words.  I said them.  But I lied them.”

There are two kinds of Dr. Seuss stories.  One type serves as a catalog for his incredible imagination and his magical ear for language.  “Too Many Daves” is one of these.  Who else would think of names like “Oliver Boliver Butt,” and “Zanzibar Buck Buck McFate”?  Some other books like this are If I Ran the Zoo, If I Ran the Circus, The Sleep Book, Scrambled Eggs Super, and Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

However, he is also capable of powerful and beautifully simple fables.  "The Sneetches," "The Zax,” and “What Was I Scared Of?” are all in this category, along with The Lorax, I Had Trouble In Getting to Solla Sollew, Yertle the Turtle, and Horton Hears a Who, among many others.  They’re quirky, they’re strange, they roll off the tongue, and they leave you with one simple message that you won’t soon forget. 

“That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars.”

Review of another book by Dr. Seuss:
Fox in Socks

Reader comment:  Amanda gives this book Five Stars.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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