One Hub, Two Hub; Red Hub, Blue Hub - Which is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
One small hub in a tub on the web;
Two hubs, with fans, in a box by the bed;
Three hubs on forks holding corks with their toes;
Four hubs on line, filled with fine purple prose.
The very first time the doctor's ear-catching rhythms were heard in our house, he was read to us by my dad. My grandfather's local newspaper had published a series on this radical, new children's writer, and Grampa had forwarded the articles to us, complete with pictures and excerpts from 'The Cat In The Hat'.
We were enchanted...and when the next installment came, we thought green eggs and ham were 'the best'. The nonsensical rhymes tickled our funny bones, and even my father, normally rather reserved, seemed quite taken with it all. Needless to say, the doctor became a large part of the required bed-time reading at our house.
This doctor should be locked away,
Subversive Kiddies Lit., I say!
No school books these, "Out!" "Out!" "Away!"
Now, no more rhymes - go out and play.
Forget this nosense, all this drivel!
I tell you, he's not on the level.
This pitter-patter speech must stop!
Untwist your tongues, unplumb your thoughts!
School must be serious, this we know,
So, "Out, you Doctor Flim-Flam - Go!"
Though hailed as a break-through writer for children, the good doctor was not taken seriously by some educators. In a few schools, his books were removed from the shelves. Certainly considered childish for my age group, things Seussical did not appear again on my horizon until many years later.
When my son was finally old enough to be read a bedtime story, some old friends became our new, fast favorites. 'The Cat in The Hat' was well received, but to my surprise, my son absolutely adored 'Horton Hears a Who'. Something about that earnest elephant struck a deep chord and for several years, 'Horton' was his most-requested bedtime entertainment.
We both loved 'Fox in Sox', but that was for daytime enjoyment and as he grew older and began to read along with me, 'If I Ran The Circus' replaced 'Horton' on his top-ten list. His cousin, on the other hand, became a big fan of 'The Things That I Saw On Mulberry Street'.
'The Cat In The Hat' is one of the best known of all the Seuss creations, and I suspect there are few North American children who have not at least heard of Jim Carrey's mega-hit movie, 'The Grinch'. Our family favorite, though, pulled out, dusted off, and faithfully viewed year after year at Christmas is still the original version of 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas', narrated by Boris Karloff.
We all sit, glued to the screen as the familiar scenes unfold, reciting the words along with Mr. Karloff and singing the Who-songs. A few of us even get misty-eyed as we join the Who's to welcome Christmas into our own hearts.
As is the way of all young, my son and his cousins eventually grew up. They grew so 'up' that they outgrew the doctor. They became teenagers and "put away childish things," much to mature to be interested in nonsensical rhymes. Fortunately for us, it wasn't all that long before a fresh crop of babies arrived, to be diapered, dandled, and (Oh! Joy of joys!) to be read to before bedtime.
Once again Seussisms reigned supreme. How enchanting to see the little eyes grow wide and hear childish tongues struggle to navigate the intricate rhythms.
From children to grandchildren, we have handed down our best-loved books to be shared after milk and cookies, just before bedtime, or in a quiet moment on a rainy afternoon. Whatever your personal favorite, the legacy of the doctor who rewrote children's literature for all times will be lovingly passed on for many generations to come..
Oh, the places you'll go! Oh, to tickle your senses
By viewing the world through your Seussical lenses.
Such colors, such sounds! Oh, the marvels you'll see!
The incredible creatures you're certain to meet.
How I wish I could be there, I'd so love to know
What you'll find in the wonderful places you'll go.
© 2009 RedElf