The Magic and Meaning of Dr. Seuss

Childhood nostalgia time!  I found this image while browsing around the internet last night and thought that it was amusing.  It was put together by the teacher of a fourth grade class based on his students’ thoughts after reading Dr. Seuss books, as compared to a popular image macro showing what Dr. Seuss books actually mean.  One of the greatest things about children’s books is that we are able to understand them differently as we get older and to realize that many of them convey larger social messages.

Dr. Seuss was one of my favorite authors as a child.  The rhymes were clever and the stories all had a larger point than mere amusement.  As I got older, I always enjoyed reading these books to my younger siblings.  The Sneetches is my favorite; I liked the idea that you shouldn’t change who you are to be popular or to fit in (and let’s face it, Sylvester McMonkey McBean is a lot of fun to say).

10 thoughts on “The Magic and Meaning of Dr. Seuss

  1. This is a very fitting post for me, because I was just talking about Dr. Seuss to a couple of the people that I work with.

    When I was a senior in high school a friend of mine who was a freshman said she had to write a short paper analyzing a book and didn’t know what book to do. I semi-jokingly suggested The Cat in the Hat. When she said she couldn’t write about that, I explained how she could and ended up writing about 2 pages (we were talking over AIM) analyzing the psychological effects that of the kid’s meeting the cat in the story.

    Being the psychology nerd that I am, I think that it would be really interesting to write papers analyzing Dr. Seuss’s work on a psychological level. The impact of the cat’s visit upon the kids, the repeated peer pressure of Green Eggs and Ham, or (one of my favorite ideas) examining Horton as being in the early stages of schizophrenia (auditory hallucinations are an early symptom, and he is the only one who can hear the voices).

    1. That would be a really cool project to work on. One of my friends in college did a paper on the philosophical implications of Horton Hears a Who, which was great fun to discuss. There’s just so much material there! I like the idea of Horton being schizophrenic… for some reason I find it intriguing.

  2. I always thought it was a shame that Reading Rainbow was the only place that let kids do book reviews. Their choices, opinions, and take-aways are always a hoot. great classroom idea & great post.

  3. Children’s books and television used to be so much more badass than they are now. I think people that used to create for children just did lots of drugs, and now they’re made by boring school teachers or something. Lame sauce I say. I want psychedelic entertainment for children again.

    1. Yes! It’s really fun to watch old cartoons/movies/etc. from when we were kids and to realize just how much we took for granted and accepted as normal at the time. They’re so much more awesome than a lot of the modern stuff. I miss the days of Magic School Bus, with Ms. Frizzle taking kids on trips on a magic bus to explore the scientific world. 😀

  4. I think that is one of the reasons that so many of the things I connected with in childhood resonate with me still as an adult. Things like The Muppet Show, Peanuts strips, and Winnie the Pooh, for example, engaged me as a child and when I revisit them as an adult I find so much more there that I completely missed as a kid. They were brilliant pieces of work because they connect with children but also have something deeper for adults.

    1. It’s neat to see the jokes that went over our heads as kids too. I like it when kids’ media can still have value for grown-ups. The Muppets are awesome, especially the Swedish Chef!

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