Take Sneetches and Zax(es), McCave and one Doc
And you'll get you some stories that will knock off your socks.
If you want to be stuffy you'll say Geisel wrote 'em.
But the tag Dr. Seuss is the way that we know him.
Lessons abound, but no story preaches
Not even the lessony, moraly "Sneetches."
The Sneetches, it's called, and Other Stories
There's more than one tale (in all of their glory).
"The Sneetches," you know, tells of Sneetches with stars
And the salesman McBean, who sells 'em like cars.
Then there's the Zax who walk through Prax Prairie
To discover that each is quite willing to tarry.
How 'bout McCave and her sons twenty-three,
And the empty pants, which are scary, you see.
There's much fun to be had in this collection-o-Seuss.
But there's more than just that, you silly Seuss goose.
Take the Zax, for example, who tell us all why
We shouldn't be stubborn (okay, we can try!).
Wanna know what happens if you act like a mule?
Hint: it will make you an absolute fool.
"The Sneetches," it teaches about prejudice
And much more, of course, that you just might miss,
Like its rants and its raves against those like McBean
Who'd sell their own mom if it meant making green.
But should we still care 'bout the Sneetches today?
Of Course! Absolutely! No question! YES WAY!
The Sneetches' fame reaches well past the page:
From your television to the big Broadway stage.
Now get on with your reading; don't hesitate
To learn from the Sneetches 'bout race and 'bout hate,
How it's nasty and blopulous, wrong and just mean.
Now go! Read aloud! Or you'll be a McBean.
We know what you're thinking—Sneetches are all fluff and feathery tummies with no substance, designed to give parents those precious nanoseconds of quiet they long for.
But step back. You're probably just thinking of Teddy Ruxpin.
Each story in The Sneetches and Other Stories provides a read-and-learn lesson for your kids. We'll let you check out our discussion of "Meaning" to learn those lessons yourselves, but here's the bottom line: kids don't like to learn lessons from parents and teachers. But maybe, just maybe, they'll learn them from Seuss.
Words are fun.
Are you done laughing?
We know. Between spelling tests, grammar-checking software, and that friend who corrects your every sentence, words can quickly become a major drag. Like they're shards of glass you always find yourself tip-toeing around without shoes. (Been there, done that.)
But it doesn't have to be that way for kids. Children are just learning how to mix, match, and combine words, so the whole thing is still a total adventure. Enter Dr. Seuss, his Sneetches, and friends.
Just read these lines out loud:
When the Star-Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches. (Sneetches.17-19).
Now be honest—was that the most fun you've ever had? Other than the whole teacup-pig-and-puppy incident, of course.
Plus, who ever heard of something as silly as a Sneetch, let alone one with a star upon its belly? Children will recognize and take an instant liking to the awesomeness of being able to make up new words to fit your imaginary musings. That's right—fight the man and make up words. It's fun, we swomise.