Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Story Time . . . with Dr. Seuss

I know, I know, this isn't my usual idea of "story time." But as I've been reading different books to my daughter and noting which get my 18-month-old son's attention, it's got me on yet another Dr. Seuss kick. So why not share? LOL.

Last summer I bought Xoe a huge "collection" book of Dr. Seuss stories, and she immediately latched onto "What Was I Scared Of?" Although she calls it "Green Pants." For good reason, but it's still cute. While we were going through the great travail of potty training, we read this story so many times that I STILL have it memorized.

As a writer, I find children's books very interesting. They don't follow the rules we're encouraged to observe in fiction-for-adults, and wouldn't work if they did. The writing is often what would be deemed terrible by adult standards. But they work because they appeal to their readership and, in the case of Dr. Seuss, capture the imagination with fabulous rhyme and rhythm.

In my opinion, the mark of a good rhyming poem of story is the one that gets stuck in your head not in words, but in cadence. When you go around going "Du du du du du DUM; dunna dun uh, du dum du dah." (Okay, really pathetic attempt there, LOL, but you get the idea.) The kids pick up on it just like we do, and it helps them remember the words, learn about rhyming, and improve their vocabulary. Last summer we were reciting "Green Pants" in the car, and when I forgot the next line, Xoe would give me a prompt. It was great.

I love Dr. Seuss books because the grab my kids' attention and hold on. They entertain, they educate, and they spur their imagination. When my youngest, who will not sit still for ANY book, stops to listen to the fun sound of a Dr. Seuss, when my daughter recites it with me, when I pause after a line to say, "Wow, that's brilliant," then you know you have a winner. Dr. Seuss will forever remain one of my favorites, and I'm loving the excuse to rediscover his work with my kids.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know he was also an artist? At my dad's office, they have a Dr. Seuss painting.