Saturday, April 28, 2012

My First Bookshelf: The Cat in the Hat

Hello, my name is Hols and I love children's books. When I say love, I mean Dr. Seuss is my personal hero. In high school for my Lord of the Flies project, I wrote a summary in the form of a Seussian poem. (I question my spell check's validity as it did not recognize "Seussian" as a word...) And no, the poem won't be making an appearance. You're welcome. ;)

So now, I want to write about children's books. I think we are getting dangerously close to the polar swing of Dick and Jane. Every time I pick up a new kids book, it is filled with fluff. There are sugary, non-substantive, easy to read words inside but nothing to grow the minds of the readers. And yes! Children should be readers! What I want in a children's book is something nutritious AND delicious!

 So, in hopes of helping you find some taste markers... On to the Show!

  The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

 This book is a classic for many reasons. Take the opening line: "The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play." If an elementary school child is able to feel angst, those words would do it. Kids can instantly relate to Sally and her brother.

  • Reads quickly: Dr. Seuss's unique combination of Rhyme and Rhythm help early readers develop a natural pace when reading. To use big kid words, the writing flows. Slow reading is not as discouraging if it is smooth reading. 
  • Moves quickly: the Cat in the Hat is a fantastically spastic character. He moves from idea to game to complete destruction in one fell swoop. No matter a child's attention span: before they even think about getting bored, this book grabs them back.
  • Makes a point: The good Doctor was sneaky. On Team "Do the Right Thing", the Fish warns about what Mother will think. On Team "Do the Fun Thing", the Cat praises the excitement to be had by doing anything that enters your head. The children have to make a decision. They have to pick a side. Teaching responsibility... Seuss style. 

Not really a summary; a recommendation. The book is an eight and a half minute read... you don't need a summary. But in the wide world of children's literature, a recommendation can come in handy. 

See you next time :)

This post inspired by Cari, my wonderfully talented cousin over at Bubble Gum On My Shoe