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Happy Seuss Day

It is the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Happy Seuss Day!

The amazing thing about Dr. Seuss, really, is not that he wrote five of the greatest children’s books. It’s that he wrote five more of the greatest children’s books. And maybe five more after that. Around the dinner table last night, we were discussing our Top Five Dr. Seuss books, and although there was some overlap, it wouldn’t be altogether surprising if there wasn’t. And I think the spread, between three of us, was ten books or more—I don’t remember exactly who chose what, other than my Best Reader clinging to the wrongheaded belief that Horton Hatches the Egg is a more moving and profound book than Horton Hears a Who.

Well, and here’s a Top Five for me.

  • Horton Hears a Who
  • Fox in Socks
  • The Sleep Book
  • There’s a Wocket in my Pocket
  • Hop on Pop

That is leaving off so many good books, I’ll make a different Top Five

  • The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins
  • Ten Apples up on Top
  • The Foot Book
  • On Beyond Zebra
  • The Lorax

Oh, shoot, I forgot

  • Please Try to Remember the First of Octember!
  • The Lorax
  • I Can Read with my Eyes Shut
  • Oh, the Places You’l Go
  • The Sneetches (and other stories, including the story of the North-going Zax)

Also, there was a Grinch and a Cat and some Green Eggs and Ham. The last of which, if I’m going to be honest, would probably make a Top Five, if I had to narrow it down.

I’m curious as to your Top Fives, Gentle Reader—and if you are willing to share, are they the Top Five from having them read to you or from reading them to others? Or from reading them all on your own (big words, too)?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


My Top Five would probably be:

Bartholomew and the Oobleck
The Sleep Book
On Beyond Zebra
Horton Hears a Who
The Sneetches

Although like yours, it is definitely missing a bunch!

Top Five Dr. Seuss Books, Beginning Reader Category

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
The Cat in the Hat
Fox in Socks
Green Eggs and Ham
Hop on Pop (a part of the top five, but the Big Four are in a class by themselves, pretty much among all beginning reader books)

Top Five Dr. Seuss Books, Longer Category

The Lorax
The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Sneetches and Other Stories
Horton Hears a Who

Honorable mentions to
The King's Stilts
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew
Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose
Gertrude McFuzz
Scrambled Eggs Super
Bartholomew and the Oobleck

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
Oh the Thinks You Can Think!
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
The Sneetches and Other Stories
There's a Wocket in My Pocket!

...maybe. Only tons more. But these are the ones I remember enjoying most. And I haven't even been reading them to small ones.

On Beyond Zebra
Everything else.

I say this because there is no act more subversive than showing up to preschool on "Parent Reading Day" and reading them On Beyond Zebra. Viva la revolucion!

I am not wrong-headed!
People are different one to another and that is what makes the world interesting and fun, you big goon.
--your wife.

Oh, yeah, there was another part to the question:

and if you are willing to share, are they the Top Five from having them read to you or from reading them to others? Or from reading them all on your own (big words, too)?

I have very few memories of being read to as a child. I am sure I was, up until the time I began to read on my own, but once I started reading myself (not until age six, actually), my parents did not read to me much-we didn't have a "story at bedtime" tradition.

My top 5 beginning reader picks are from reading them to my son, which has reminded me of how good they are: before I started reading to him, I would have picked One Fish Two Fish and Fox in Socks, but I had forgotten how brilliant The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham are.

My other picks are based mostly on having read the books myself. At around age 7, I think, I was given a wonderful, four-volume collection called Dr. Seuss Storytime, which had the vast majority of the non-beginning-reader stories, and I read them all until I knew most of them more or less by heart. (The one major omission from the collection is The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, but fortunately I had a paperback copy of that.) I've been reading some of these stories to my son--we have copies of The Sneetches and other Stories, The Lorax, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and that probably influenced their placement in the top 5 (if I were making a top 5 list of the stories I liked as a child, it would be yet another list).

I'm not going to introduce him to the four-volume set, which I still have, until he is a bit older and is better able to be careful with his books. He is never deliberately damages them, but his limited motor skills cause him to handle page turning rather roughly, and he doesn't realize that standing on a book can be bad for it, and so forth.

definitely Bartholomew Cubbins; Green Eggs and Ham; To Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street; I had Trouble getting to Solla Sollew; and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (sequel better than the original, for once ;).

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