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Top 5 Dr. Seuss Books

Updated on October 16, 2015

Dr. Seuss is an acclaimed writer and cartoonist. He is well-known for his imaginative stories with outlandish creatures. Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, and the Whos... these are just a few of Dr. Seuss' beloved characters.

I like the way Dr. Seuss puts meaning and significance in his stories. There are countless lessons to be learned from him. So I have compiled a list of my Top 5 Dr. Seuss Books:

  • Oh, The Thinks You Can Think
  • Gertrude McFuzz
  • The Sneetches
  • The Lorax
  • Green Eggs and Ham

Oh, The Thinks You Can Think

"Oh, the thinks you can think if you're willing to try."

Oh, The Thinks You Can Think is a book about setting your mind free. It explores unimagined possibilities and encourages one to "think out of the box".

I remember one time I showed a child's drawing of a psychedelic elephant to this little girl I was tutoring and she told me that it was not "nice". When I asked her why she thought so, she told me that it was not gray and when her teacher in school says to color "nicely", it means it should always be the "correct" color. Elephants must be gray, trees must be brown and green, the sun must be yellow. Of course, there's nothing wrong with using real-life colors, but to stifle the imagination of a 5-year old child by confining it to what's "real" hardly seems beneficial to the child.

I read this little girl Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Thinks You Can Think and she looked at the book as if it were some strange artifact from another galaxy. If only it had been. Wouldn't that have been exciting? :-)

Gertrude McFuzz

Gertrude is a bird with a one-feather tail. And she was so jealous of the other birds who had lots of feathers in their tails. So she finds a way to make her tail grow, but then she realizes that her one-feather tail is just right for her kind of bird.

Gertrude McFuzz is a story about acceptance of oneself. While Gertrude lamented her one-feather tail, some of us complain that we're too fat, too short, too flat-chested, too this, too that, and never just right. So we go about trying to change ourselves. If only we'd realize that we are "just right" the way we are, there'd be much less frustration.

The Sneetches

There were two types of sneetches - one with stars on their bellies and one without. The star-bellied sneetches felt that they were superior to the ones without stars, and they excluded the sneetches without stars from everything. In the end, both sneetches accepted each other regardless of whether they had stars or not. But it took one sly Sylvester McMonkey McBean.

The Sneetches is about accepting others regardless of race, status, etc. It made me think about all the stupid things we sometimes do when we start thinking that we're superior to others. In the end, we are all the same.

The Lorax

If you're a Science teacher, you might want to use this book. The Lorax is about the ecosystem - how one component affects the other. The story starts by showing us rows and rows of Truffula trees with the softest tufts, and brown Bar-ba-loots (bear-like creatures) playing in their shade and eating the Truffula fruits. There are humming fish swimming in the lakes, and Swomee swans that sing all day.

Then the Once-ler arrives and cuts down a Truffula tree to make into a Thneed - sort of like a sweater overall - which he sold to a man. Then he cuts down another Truffula tree unmindful of the Lorax's admonitions. (The Lorax "speaks for the trees for they cannot speak.") Pretty soon the Once-ler is chopping down Truffula trees left and right, making them into Thneeds which he sells for money until there are no more trees left to cut. What happens to the Bar-ba-loots and humming fish and Swomee swans shows what happens when man interferes with the balance of nature.

The story ends on a light note, however, as there is one Truffula seed left. The Once-ler gives it to a little boy and tells him to plant it. As my 5-year old niece says, "Trees are for planting, not cutting."

Green Eggs and Ham

"I do not like green eggs and ham.

I do not like them, Sam I Am!

I do not like them here or there.

I do not like them anywhere!"

Again and again, Sam I Am tries to persuade this odd looking yellow fellow to eat the green eggs and ham, and every time he gets this same answer.

When I read Green Eggs and Ham, I thought of how I tend to reject new or unfamiliar things, situations, etc., just like ham and eggs that are not the usual color. This book reminded me to be more open, to step out of my comfort zone every once in a while, and to grow. It might not be so bad, you know. :-)

(Okay, so I'm not good at rhymes. I'll leave that to Dr. Seuss next time. Hehe... :-D)

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    • profile image

      Laurie 6 years ago

      'Are you my Mother' was not written by Dr. Seuss...

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks susan for the nice post.This is really great post

    • Garrett Mickley profile image

      Garrett Mickley 7 years ago from Jupiter, Florida

      The Lorax is one of my favorites.

      Another of my favorites is "Oh, The Places You'll Go" It's a cliché graduation gift but it hits the nail on the head.

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 7 years ago from USA

      I love his books. i had them for my kids and now they read them to theirs.

    • reemhmam profile image

      reemhmam 7 years ago

      The Sneetches and Other Stories

      I think will buy it soon

      Thanks!

    • Susan Ng profile image
      Author

      Susan Ng Yu 7 years ago

      I also love The Lorax, Cybermouse. :) I even included it in our school's Science lesson plan as part of learning about the ecosystem. Thanks for dropping by, ljrc1961 and nickupton. :)

    • Cybermouse profile image

      Cybermouse 7 years ago from Bentonville, AR

      The Lorax and The Sneetches are my favorites. The man was a genius, at least in the world of poems and rhyming, and telling meaningful stories at the same time. Great hub!

    • nickupton profile image

      nickupton 7 years ago from Bangkok

      The Sneetches is my favourite.

    • ljrc1961 profile image

      Laura Cole 9 years ago from Michigan

      I love Seuss! I read them to my kids and also my students.

    • Bee Happy profile image

      Bee Happy 9 years ago from Texas

      Dr. Seuss is a very special author. I read his stories to my children who now have children of their own. I still have some of his books. There is one about some green pants that my daughter used as a drama reading in high school and won an award...i can't remember the title, but I love the story. I enjoyed your post.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      We named our sailboat Lorax.

    • Susan Ng profile image
      Author

      Susan Ng Yu 10 years ago

      Dr. Seuss will live on in the hearts of those who have read his books. :-) So I am with you, Granny. Long live Dr. Seuss! :-)

    • Susan Ng profile image
      Author

      Susan Ng Yu 10 years ago

      If only Dr. Seuss were still alive today! Unfortunately, he died in 1991 at the age of 87. :-(

      I have 3 little 2-month old kittens, too. Right now they're doing a Hop on Bed. And Oh, The Places They Go - nooks and crannies I can't reach! Hehe. :-D

    • Granny Smith profile image

      Granny Smith 10 years ago

      Susan Ng,

      So true, I agree wholeheartedly. I am also a cat lover. Of all the times I've read that story, I had never really thought of it the way you described it, about a boring cat who only wants to sleep all the day, actually turning a ho-hum day into a day of adventure. Thanks for sharing that and opening my mind - hee hee. Really, though. My bAbies are my two cats, each with totally different personalities. And each in their own way showing they need love and also love themselves. Anyway, long live Dr.Seuss! oh, does anyone know (is he still alive?), I don't think so and don't really remember. Anyway, kudos to Dr.Seuss.

    • Susan Ng profile image
      Author

      Susan Ng Yu 10 years ago

      Thanks, Peter and Granny. :-)

      "Are You My Mother?" is one of my favorites, too. I've read that book to my students countless times (I was a preschool teacher for 3 years) and it just cracked them up when the tiny bird asks all those animals if they're his mother. "Cat in the Hat" is also up there with my favorites, all the more because I love cats and the idea of a cat turning a ho-hum day into a day of adventure tickles me pink. :-)

    • Granny Smith profile image

      Granny Smith 10 years ago

      I think "Are You My Mother?" is one of his best. I must of read that book alone hundreds of times over the years to my kids, and now to my grandkids. I love it, my favorite, then next is "Cat in the Hat".

      Good post!

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 10 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Seuss rules. I love Dr. Seuss. My wife is a kindergarten teacher, so, of course, she loves Seuss, too. Nice review.

    • Susan Ng profile image
      Author

      Susan Ng Yu 10 years ago

      I agree with you, Rhym - to be able to write not just one story but many fun-to-read stories that teach values is totally genius. Dr. Seuss is my idol, hands down. :-)

    • Rhym O'Reison profile image

      Rhym O'Reison 10 years ago from Crowley, Tx

      This was really great.  I love Dr. Seuss, but never took the time to think about the message in the stories.  To write a story that is so fun to read and also helps make you a better person is totally genius.

    • Susan Ng profile image
      Author

      Susan Ng Yu 10 years ago

      Thanks for reading, ripplemaker. :-)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Dr. Seuss is one magical writer :-) Thanks for sharing.

    • Susan Ng profile image
      Author

      Susan Ng Yu 10 years ago

      Which one have you read? :-) What did you think about it?

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 10 years ago from Northern California

      Hm... interestingly I have only read 1 of these! :(

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