Seuss, Sneetches, and My Story
Can You Teach a Sneetch?
Doctor Seuss's Story
Although perhaps not as memorable as Green Eggs and Ham or as famous as the Cat in the Hat, The Sneetches story will forever hold a special place in my heart.
The Sneetches is also a wonderful fable, but more about that later.
This book carries a marvelous personal memory about a sweet second grade teacher that gave me a chance. Her name was Mrs. Channing.
Mrs. Channing told our class that if we could read a picture book, we could go to the first grade to read it to them - a big honor.
I came back a day or so later with my copy of the Sneetches book and I proceeded to show her how I could read it.
But you see, I actually COULDN'T read it. I had memorized the entire story and could turn the pages in the correct places only because of the picture cues.
She thought something was strange when I replaced one word for another. After quizzing me, I told her we had the record at home and I would read along with the recording and my book. The recording had a word or two different.
In my young mind, I was reading it.
What did this teacher do? Did she tell me I wasn't really reading it and to take the book home?
No, she gave me a time slot and day to read the book. I wore a nice dress that day and got to read and show the pictures to one of the first grade classes. I was so excited and proud.
I'm sure this experience contributed towards me becoming a lifelong, avid reader.
A Dr. Seuss Gem
Amazon has a ready supply of Doctor Seuss books.
My Interpretation of This Story
The lesson in the story about the plain-bellied and star-bellied Sneetches is that it's not what's on the outside, but what's in the inside that counts. The issues of prejudice and the arrogant desire to be seen as 'better' than others are addressed.
Sneetches look exactly alike except for the star. It's obvious to the reader how silly they are for believing that small differences in outward appearance make someone 'better.'
Dr. Seuss in his usual poetic way, tells the story without becoming preachy or bogged down. He has a funny character Sylvester McMonkey McBean that takes advantage of the Sneetches strive to climb up the social ladder by offering the services of his star-on star-off machine. For a fee of course.
Other stories include The Zax, Too Many Daves, and What Was I Scared Of?
Musical Versions of Dr. Seuss Stories
This CD includes the Sneetches Story that I listened to in second grade. Of COURSE I have it now!
The beatnik version of Green Eggs and Ham was a hit in my classroom during Doctor Seuss's birthday celebration. This series was originally made in the early 60's and is a real treat with great voices acting out the characters!