11/4/10

Stars upon Thars

When I was four or five, I received this set of Dr Seuss stories for Christmas:



Jana got a set of Little House books, and I remember thinking that she definitely got the short end of the stick. My books were so much more colorful! So zany! So full of rhymes! To make it even better, after Christmas dinner my second cousin Jim Bob sat down and read from the books to me. At the time Jim Bob was my favorite adult relative -- I thought he was fun and zany too.

I read those books to shreds. I don't think they survived the move from my childhood home to my parent's current home. So for my birthday, Chris found the set for me on ebay. Now they're all mine again.

And I still love them. Everyone loves Dr Seuss, of course, this set goes far beyond The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax and The Grinch. The Sneetches are represented here, and Thidwick, and Yertle the Turtle. But there are also little-known classics such as "King Looie Katz" and "Gertrude McFuzz," and "The Yax" -- all these stories, I just realized, about creatures getting too big for their britches. There's "Scrambled Eggs Super!" and "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew" and "McElligot's Pool." There's "The Sleep Book" and "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?"

And there's my absolute favorite, "Too Many Daves":

Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons, and she named them all Dave?

Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one, and calls out "Yoo-Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!" she doesn't get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!

This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves'
As you can imagine, with so many Daves.
And often she wishes that, when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn.
And one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot-Shot. And one Sunny Jim.
And one of them Shadrack. And one of them Blinkey.
And one of them Stuffy. And one of them Stinkey.
Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon Face.
Another one Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Ziggy. And one Soggy Muff.
One Buffalo Bill. And one Biffalo Buff.
And one of them Sneepy. And one Weepy Weed.
And one Paris Garters. And one Harris Tweed.
And one of them Sir Michael Carmichael Zutt.
And one of them Oliver Boliver Butt.
And one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate...

But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.


I was hoping my kids would be as entranced by my Dr Seuss set as I was, but so far that hasn't happened. On the one hand that makes me sad, and makes me question their taste. On the other hand, the less they read these books, the better chance they have to survive intact unto the next generation. Because when my grandkids come over, these are the books I'm going to read them.
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2 comments:

aimee said...

I remember these books. I also remember the Little House set and I know I never chose those to read.

Michelle said...

I too remember those books. I would go over to your house and ignore Aimee so I could get my fix. I didn't find out until recently that my mom hated Dr. Suess (gasp) and that's why I never got to read them anywhere else! We also now have almost a complete set. In fact I can almost recite "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" all the way through.