How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
by Dr. Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Introduction
In A Nutshell
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through Who-ville
A nasty old creature sneaks out in the chill.
Can you guess this old story? Come on now, can you?
We're sure that you'll know when we give you a clue.
It's a jolly good tale in a jolly good town
About the kind Whos and a creature who frowns.
And he's not just a downer—he's quite full of gloom
Why we speak of the Grinch, that old bringer of doom.
The Grinch is a fellow who hates all the Whos
He's stubborn and mean and set in his views.
At Christmas he gets even more than irate.
With the Yuletide clatter he cannot think straight!
So the Grinch sets out to destroy the Whos' joy
And he sneaks into houses and steals all their toys.
But he doesn't steal Christmas; oh no, he cannot
For Christmas is shared and enjoyed—not bought.
There's a reason this story lives on and on.
And it's not the weird names or the way that it's drawn.
The tale is so timeless because of the Grinch
Who somehow can steal our hearts in a cinch.
Though a person's a Grinch when they're nasty or mean
(Not because of their color; Seuss's Grinch wasn't green!),
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! finally screams out
The Grinch is a good guy, without any doubt.
So if you want to see a shriveled heart grow,
Or the trees of a Christmas-y town start to glow,
Well, this story's 'bout miracles, all sweet and true
And will make you believe in Christmas anew!
Why Should I Care?
Because 'tis the season of caring. But hey, even if it ain't the holidays, you should still give a hoot about this one, because Grinchy-ness isn't limited to just December. Curmudgeonry and pooping on parties is a year-round problem. It's rampant.
That's not to say that 1957's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is nothing but a bummer. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's the sort of tale that delights and excites both children and adults any time of the year. The book is a perfect for bedtime reading or for classroom reading when the days grow short. Plus it has more panache than the pleasant, but less exciting, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem.
Sure, the book is a fun read for those adventurous young children who want to tackle a book on their own; with rollicking rhymes and a plotline that keeps you turning the page, your little reader will keep going instead of giving up.
But, more importantly, there are also some real values being discussed. If your kid gripes about not getting the most expensive, popular gift from the toy store this year, you can remind them that Christmas comes despite all the trappings of gifts, trees, and prime rib dinners.
If the Whos could survive a gift-less Christmas, surely they can too. And if they still complain… well, just call them a Grinch.
Why Your Kids Should Care
Try giving the little ones a little quiz.
- Do you love Christmas?
- Do you like stories where someone does something bad (that they're not supposed to)?
- Would you like to see a picture of a dog dressed up as a reindeer?
- Do you think the words Who-ville or the name Cindy-Lou Who sound fun (and silly)?
If they answered yes to any of these questions, then How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is the book for them. It's the story of a nasty guy named the Grinch, who goes into the houses of folks called the Whos and steals all their Christmas things… while dressed like Santa, which seems doubly cruel somehow. He's a mean, nasty sort of creature, which makes him a whole lot more fun to read about than any goody two-shoes.
People who just do good things in a story are boring. The Grinch is so mean and horrible that he keeps us in suspense throughout the book. Will he or won't he ruin Christmas?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a fun book to read around the holidays, both alone and aloud to others. It's full of the kind of fun to say (or shout) rhymes and silly lingo that Seuss is known for, so feel free to get up on that soapbox and belt out a verse or two. There's nothing wrong with a bit of noise when it's accompanied by a big dose of Christmas cheer.