Book Review: Your Favorite Seuss compiled by Janet Schulman and Cathy Goldsmith
I didn’t read Dr. Seuss as a kid. At least I have no memory of reading his work. And I loved reading. And our home was full of books. I just don’t remember any Seuss.
Sometimes I wonder if my parents didn’t like Seuss. The more likely scenario, though, is that the mail order books that lined our shelves didn’t include Seuss as an option. We had a lot of National Geographic selections, though!
I remember when my brother graduated from high school, the valedictorian read parts of Oh, The Places You’ll Go. At first, I thought the young man had written the words and I was thinking, “Wow! This valedictorian is impressive.”
Then he explained the Seuss reference and I was blown away. Published on Ted Geisel’s birthday in 1990, this magically motivating story was the last one he wrote. What a profound swan song.
With this treasury of thirteen stories, I also experienced Seuss’s first story, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, which vividly reminded me of my childhood. Seuss captured that quintessential element of childhood: the ability to reimage what was actually happening all around you.
I’d never read McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran The Zoo, Horton Hears a Who, Yertle the Turtle, Happy Birthday to You, The Sneetches, and Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book. I know! This treasury had eight classics that I had never experienced.
While McElligot’s Pool was beautifully illustrated, I liked Horton Hears a Who the best. I was not happy with that kangaroo! And I’m an adult. I can’t imagine being a child and having to work through my feelings about such an aggressive kangaroo!
Reading The Cat in the Hat always reminds me of Patriot Games. Nothing wrong with picturing Harrison Ford reading some Seuss!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Green Eggs and Ham are classics, I know, but don’t hold any special meaning for me. I vaguely remember reading them to children who I babysat for.
And then there was The Lorax, which my sister introduced me to while I was in graduate school. I stood in the bookstore…jeez, I think it was a B. Dalton Bookstore…and was stunned that a kid’s book could have such a powerful message.
When I saw this collection on My Person’s bookshelf, I knew I wanted to read it as part of my Reading Challenge. And sitting down for the final afternoon of 2015, I was pleased to experience the career of this American icon.
Each story is introduced with a short essay from various people who worked with, knew, or were touched by Seuss. Interspersed throughout are various pictures, political cartoons, sketches, and notes from Seuss.
As someone who did not grow up with Seuss, I truly feel like this collection makes me appreciate his contribution that much more.