Written by the Dr. Seuss,
Hop on Pop sets young readers loose.
Published in the year 1963,
Hop brought every parent glee.
Seuss uses poems oh-so short
and characters of an oddball sort…
… to teach children a lesson in phonics
with rhymes and rhythms and harmonics.
Children everywhere have long adored
that they can read this without being bored,
like they would have been with Dick and Jane.
Those boring stories are such a pain.
Hop came in at spot sixty-seven
on the NEA’s hundred back in '07.
So read it to your wee-ones, mother.
Read it to your siblings, brother.
We can promise it won’t disappoint.
'Cause learning to love reading is the whole point.
It’s not that kids don’t care about learning. They think learning facts and knowing how to do things are both pretty cool, which is evident in how much they want to show off both those skills. It’s just that the process of learning is kind of a pain. Memorization, pop quizzes, and boring books drag the process of learning into the nether-realms of uninteresting. Why memorize the state capitals when you can be, you know, not memorizing them?
Hop on Pop is a parental hustler in this regard. The book is designed around the learning process from start to finish. It teaches words, phonics, language acquisition, and even a bit of spelling just for kicks. But all that nasty learning is hidden beneath a surface layer of whacky, zany short poems. The rhyme, illustrations, and tone of the poems are insanely fun to read or to have read to you.
Put it another way. You know those cookbooks that feature recipes that hide vegetables places children won’t think to look? Then after years of eating hidden peas, those children suddenly realize, “Hey, peas aren’t that bad!” Hop on Pop is analogous to that, only it hides the learning process in tasty poetic morsels. Too bad it doesn’t do vegetables, too, or this book would literally be the best thing that ever happened to parenting. Ever.
Kids will love Hop on Pop because it hosts a metric ton of crazy, cartoony characters put in hilarious situations. Take a look at this laundry list of awesomeness:
Each of these scenarios, and more, plays out in short, episodic poems, so the book can keep the attention of even the youngest of youngsters. No characterization to keep track of; no story threads to remember. Enjoy one bit of insanity, and then it’s off to the next bit. The episodic nature even means you can stop reading when you feel like it and pick it back up whenever is most convenient.