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The Butter Battle Book

The Butter Battle Book


by Dr. Seuss

The Butter Battle Book Meaning

What is this book really about?

The Bomb

While it may not be the first thing your kids think about, adults will pretty quickly see the relationship between the Big-Boy Boomeroo and the atomic bomb. Even the name is similar to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, nicknamed "Little Boy". Sounds like someone had a sense of humor.

The atomic bomb was developed during World War II as a top-secret project. As the tragedies at Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed, the weapon proved to be sufficiently powerful to threaten all life on earth—particularly as the race shifted from a competition between the United States and Germany to one between the United States and the Soviet Union. Complicated? Just a little.

The Big-Boy Boomeroo, Seuss's metaphor for the bomb, is "a gadget that's Newer than New / It is filled with mysterious Moo-Lacka-Moo / and can blow all those Zooks clear to Sala-ma-goo" (165-67). The problem, it seems, is that nobody's sure exactly how it works. It's such a mystery that the Boomeroo can only be described with Seussian (read: not real) words.

Is Seuss trying to tell us that we shouldn't be messing with things bigger than ourselves?

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