One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Tone
Take a story’s temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Sharing with Glee
By glee, we don't mean the hit television show with the mash-ups, charming foreign exchange students, and a whole lot of baby-mama drama. We're talking about the exuberance and joy that oozes from the pages of One Fish Two Fish.
At every turn, the boy and the girl share their observations on the world of oddities that surround them. And those observations are all ones of wonder and fun:
I like to box.
How I like to box!
So, every day,
I box a Gox. (191-194)
In the interest of brevity, the boy could just tell us he's a boxer. But no, that ain't Seuss's style. Instead, this kooky kiddo tells us with excitement how much he likes to box. And how he does so every day. And how when he boxes every day, he does so with a Gox. Which must be awesome. Or so we surmise.
That kind of infectious excitement allows us to feel the sense of wonder and joy that the children do when they spend time with their pets in this odd Seussian world.
Similarly, as they watch some animals run by, they say the following variation on the epigraph:
Oh me! Oh my!
Oh me! Oh my!
What a lot
of funny things go by. (35-38)
How fun is exclaiming that whole "Oh me! Oh my!" thing aloud, anyway? We know we shouted it as loud as possible when we first read it.
From there, the book moves the reader through a series of breathless observations. Here is a fish that walks, and here is a tall Zans that opens cans. Here's a Ying that sings and a Yop that Hops. It goes on and on and on. How can you not wonder at all the wonders?