It is no surprise that, in a Children’s Literature course, we would eventually come across picture books (the best two classes of my life. Like, ever). It really felt like being a child all over again, it was fabulous! So, from an adult (well…sort of adult) point of view, I wanted to review “The Cat in the Hat”, “The Lorax”, and “Where the Wild Things Are” just for fun!
The Cat in the Hat
I forgot how mischievous that cat really is. Like when he balanced all those items, and then bringing in Thing One and Thing Two? Classic. I definitely think every kid should have this book read to them, just because it’s Dr. Seuss, and no one (in my opinion) can write rhymes like him. You can’t beat the classics, that’s for sure. The colour scheme is something to pay attention to – the bright colours are a nice contrast to the white space. I found it interesting though that Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist for a while, and our Cat in the Hat is dressed in a red and white hat with a red bow-tie (very Uncle Sam, if you ask me!). The only problem some parents MIGHT find with this book is at the end, when our narrator questions
Should we tell her about it?
Now, what SHOULD we do?
What would YOU do
If your mother asked YOU?
I think some parents would be mortified, expecting that their child will lie to them if the cat can magically appear at their house (hey, it hasn’t been proven to NOT happen, so who knows? I’d love it if Mike Myers would come to my house, haha!). But at the same time, this empowers our child reader and gives them the authority and the push to take control. Has anyone actually refused to read their kids this book? I’d love to know!
This book is actually so sad! I never read it when I was a child (I THINK I’m glad I didn’t?). The colours in this book are so beautiful. I love how there is an obvious distinction between the destroyed town VS the beautiful town with lovely Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, Brown Bar-ba-loots, and everything in between. Everything is so vivid and thriving, that it actually made me really sad to see how bad our Mr. Once-ler destroyed everything (not single-handedly, mind you. It takes a whole race, or in this case family, to destroy our planet). One important question our professor asked us though was very powerful, so I ask it here – HAS anything changed since “The Lorax” was first published, back in 1971?
Here’s what I think – we have definitely changed some common household things, like separating our regular garbage from food waste/green bin from recycling. Here in Toronto there’s a garbage can at all TTC stops. So I think that a lot of things have definitely improved. I think though that we need to take the ending into large consideration, and we all need to take that seed that Once-ler has thrown to the little boy, and take action and do our part.
Where the Wild Things Are
To be honest, I found this book actually so boring. I found The colours didn’t exactly jump out on me, and I thought that there would be a little more action. With that being said, it does show the possibilities of a child’s imagination, and where you can go (then again, we don’t EXACTLY get the sense that he little Max fell asleep, so maybe it was all real? Who knows?). The ending was sweet though, when (SPOLIER ALERT) his mom had left his dinner for him in his room. I appreciated that little detail, to show the children reading along with their parents that moms are the best thing in the world.
If YOU read these books today (and other children books you loved!) what details did you not remember? What values / lessons do they teach you that you didn’t realize when you were younger? I’d love to hear your thoughts!