I think Dr. Seuss was one of the most brilliant children’s book writers (and illustrators) of all time. I have a goal to one day own all of his books in my personal library. Not only are they fun out-loud reading for little kids, the morals taught in them are taught really effectively. I feel like the things I learned from Dr. Seuss have stuck with me my whole life.
So the other day I was going through and adding all of his books to my Amazon.com Wish List, which I do sometimes when I don’t have the money to get things I want. It feels kind of like shopping even though you’re not really getting anything.
I found some treasures like The Lorax, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck. But I started to get frustrated because no matter how much I searched, I couldn’t find two of my favorite stories, which are The Glunk That Got Thunk and King Looie Katz. Finally, after doing some more research via Google, I found out they’re only available as part of the volume, I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories.
I seem to remember them being separate books and reading them in my elementary school library. But I searched and searched and they don’t exist anywhere. So I guess I’m just not remembering correctly… after all, I was probably like 8 years old when I read them. Do any of you remember them being separate books?
Anyways, these are fantastic stories. It’s been years since I’ve read them, but here’s a brief recap of each as I remember them:
The Glunk That Got Thunk is about this little sister who likes to sit all day and think nice little thoughts. Then one day, she decides to think up something really big and terrible. What she ends up thinking up is the Glunk, which she immediately regrets doing. As the Glunk goes around wreaking havoc, she tries desperately to “unthink” him, but he is just too big. Finally, with the help of her brother, they “unthink” the Glunk together.
I loved the illustrations of the little sister’s cute little thoughts and it inspired me as a kid to doodle and come up with little creatures (or “thoughts”) of my own. The lesson taught in this book is fantastic… who hasn’t had the experience of having a terrible thought that won’t go away?… and I love that the problem is conquered with sibling unity.
King Looie Katz is a story about a king who decides he needs a servant to hold up his royal tail, and then that servant decides he needs someone to hold up his tail, and then that servant decides he needs his tail held up, and so on and so forth, until you come to the last little cat who doesn’t have anyone to hold up his tail. Then, the last little cat with his tail dragging on the ground realizes how stupid the whole system is and that he’s not going to put up with it any longer. So he slams down the tail that he’s holding up, and then that cat realizes the stupidity of it all and slams down the tail he’s holding, and so it continues up the line, slamming tails, until the original servant slams down King Looie’s tail. Then, in the happy ending, everyone decides to just hold up their own tails from now on.
How applicable is this story to society and government today? I love how this story teaches kids that everyone is equal and that nobody should have to put up with the crap that someone imposes on them just because that someone happens to think they are superior. Wouldn’t it be great if the happy ending in this story would really happen?
Seriously, Theodor Geisel was a genius, may he rest in peace.
What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book?