#55 - Read the entire classic works of Dr. Seuss to my children.


We had to wait for May 2011 (not 2012, geez, what year is it anyway?) to finish this task from The List because the last book, I Can Draw It Myself, was out of print and unavailable until then.  By some sort of Dr. Seuss-reading miracle, it was re-released this summer.  Someone out there knew about this list, I'm sure of it.  I definitely have that kind of pull, right? 

I don't remember where I got the list of the collection of classic Seuss works.  I'm pretty sure it's not comprehensive, and it also includes several titles written under the pseudonym of Theo LeSeig.  But whatever.  It's the list I found, and the list I used - with 63 titles.  Ben, Abby, and I read them all together -

Excepting One.

And it just so happens, it was, perhaps, my most favorite book of them all.  (That's a tough title to give though, since I'm such a huge fan.)

It was this one:

(picture from Wikipedia)
Maybe this story was particularly endearing to me because of my own Lady Godiva.  You might know the one:

But the more likely reason is because it was Dr. Seuss's only book for adults.  Of course, it was an immediate failure, released in 1939, mid-Great Depression, and totally unappreciated in its time.  (The good ones always are.)  I would hardly say it's on Dr. Seuss's list of most popular books, but I feel lucky to have gotten a re-released version on Interlibrary Loan.  I ate that book up.  Against my better judgment, I read the naked ladies book to Ben, who had a few questions and totally didn't appreciate the brilliance of Dr. Seuss's unmatched wit.

In a nutshell (from my favorite source Wikipedia):
The book recounts in prose the tale of not one, but seven Godiva sisters, none of whom ever wear clothing. The explanation for their nakedness, even when walking in snow, is that "they were simply themselves and chose not to disguise it." The story opens with the sisters' father, Lord Godiva, deciding to leave for the Battle of Hastings on horseback. This upsets the sisters, as horses are wild and untamed animals. Sure enough, before Lord Godiva even manages to leave the castle walls, he is flung from his horse and killed. As a tribute to their father's fate, the Godiva sisters agree to never marry—despite the fact that each is courting one of seven brothers named Peeping—until they can warn their countrymen of the dangers of horses. The book then follows the sisters as they set out on individual quests for "horse truths", which turn out to be well-known sayings involving horses.
Apparently, given the reaction from the readers back then in the Depression Era, Dr. Seuss decided to stick to writing children's literature because they are "more appreciative".  This is when he coined his popular phrase, "Adults are obsolete children, and the hell with them."

While I'm elated about his kid literature, I can't help but imagine what he might have written had he stayed in the adult realm.

This is already waaaayyyyyy too long and only about one of his awesome books.  So, of course, I will default to a brief list of my remaining favorites from the list of 63.  I know you're all going to run right out to the library and borrow them.

Not surprisingly, I most enjoy the ones with the moral at the end (and the middle and the beginning).  That's just the kind of gal I am.

Jennie's Top Nine Favorite Dr. Seuss Books in no particular order
(because I already counted The Seven Lady Godivas)

So there's your challenge.  If you haven't read them.  Go do it.  Yes, I'm being bossy.  You won't regret it.  (And if you do, that's your prerogative.  Different opinions are what make the world a fun place to live, right?)

But you'll take away this kind of wisdom:
When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad… You should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky!

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
So be sure when you step.  Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.
I love it.  #55, you've been checked.  And it was awesome.


Sharon said...

Am I behind, or did you suddenly turn into Polly Prolific on me?!

I loved Dr. Seuss books. There was a wisdom in them (as exhibited by your quote) - and yet, they were so much fun. I think the fact that they rhymed also made them very easy to read to little ones (and to follow).

You have picked some great classics - but we also loved the simple ones, too. Hop on Pop; Go, Dog, Go (Do you like my hat?), Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat.

You know, I was reminded about something C.S. Lewis said about writing for children. It's not an exact quote, but I think I've got the idea right. It's that children have an innocence about them, and they don't filter away the truth. He said that by telling *truth* in a children's story, that sometimes adults might get the message without even realizing it - of course, the kids got it right away.

I like the *little girl* that still lives in me.

Congrats on #55!!


Post a Comment

Before you go, I'd love to hear from you! Let me know what's on your mind! (Please and thank you.)

Back to Top