I guess I’ve set myself up with some big expectations to meet.
I mean making a list of Dr. Suess books that beat peanut butter on pancakes isn’t a small feat!
Ok. Reading all this stuff about Dr. Suess has made me write in rhyme. Let’s get to it. I can’t wait to introduce you to some great books or (if you’re already a Dr. Suess fan) tell you why I love these books so much!
Who is Dr. Suess?
Not wanting to reinvent the wheel…Wikipedia has a great page for Dr. Suess so here is what they have to say about Dr. Suess:
Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, cartoonist, animator, book publisher, and artist best known for authoring children’s books under the pen name Dr. Seuss. His work includes several of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death. [Wikipedia]
While I know these books were on the shelves when I was little, truthfully I don’t remember reading them. Now that I have kids they have become a big part of story time at our house. With the addition of the movie versions of these, Dr. Suess is now a household term that even Hubby recognizes without explanation!
Once you know some of these titles you’ll find yourself seeing them all over the place and not just in the children’s book section of the library or bookstore. Dr. Suess references are everywhere!
Did you know that Dr. Suess only uses about 150 words in his stories?
Of course he makes up some rhyming words to move the story along. A Zong is not a word. Believe me. I looked. Most of the vocabulary at this level of reading is kindergarten or early elementary school year. These books are perfect for non-readers to memorize as they are read to them or for new readers to perfect their reading.
As a kindergartener, Bootsie was in the top reading group at school, but really I feel like she was the top of the middle readers and was pushed to be with the high readers. It was a good push for her to read, but I think it gave her a bit of a complex when she started really having to read to her teacher in class. In first grade, with a new teacher we’ve seen that she’s still a pretty good reader, but the top readers in her class are already reading chapter books and she’s not there yet. She was struggling with her school assignments and I could see her love of reading fading away.
Finally, I told her to read Green Eggs and Ham a few times because she already knew the story and guess what? After that she wasn’t struggling with her school reading simply because she’d had a positive reading experience with the Dr. Suess vocabulary.
Here are a few more books that are better than peanut butter on pancakes:
Oh The Places You’ll Go
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! has recently made it’s return to the forefront of the Dr. Suess reading lists. This change in rank came about due to a story of one dad’s high school graduation gift to his kid. The book itself is great, but if you get your children’s teachers to sign a page throughout their school career it makes for a perfect graduation gift. I’ve thought of trying this tradition out, but it seems like a lot of pressure to put on teachers! Writing something memorable about your kid at the end of the year is a lot to ask for especially when kindergarten classes range in the 30s and some classes are bigger!
Even if you only have a few years left with your kid living at home, start this tradition in high school! This would be great for coaches to sign or music teachers to add to, if your student is involved in things like that.
Oh The Thinks You Can Think!
The great thing about Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! is the connections kids can make to things that they can see around them and then are encouraged to use their imaginations to think up crazy animals and places and travel. If Dr. Suess were to write a textbook on how to encourage imagination, this would be it.
This is a great book on it’s own but it’s no wonder that it’s also has become part of the musical Suessical The Musical:
For a time when my kids were young this was THE cartoon movie of the moment. There was a rough cartoon version made when I was little, but the updated version is definitely an upgrade on the original. I think at one point I knew all the lyrics to the songs and most of the lines of the movie.
The Lorax (Classic Seuss) is a great book to teach kids about how to take care of the environment. In the updated version most of the world that the main character lives in is plastic and he wants to get a tree for the girl of his dreams. His simply selfish want turns into a major change in the world around him. I think this is a perfect example for kids to follow. Not only that the world is a precious place and we should live in it carefully, but also that one child’s voice is important.
Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham is such a great book for putting kids through their reading paces without making it seem like work. The places where green eggs and ham are eaten or are rather not eaten grow as the book moves along and kids seem to
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Classic Seuss) has to be part of your holiday reading collection, but also is one for the rest of the year too. There are many versions of the movie, but the classic book is something to really dive into. Despite the great dramatics of the earlier versions or the star-studded cast of the latest creation, the message of How The Grinch Stole Christmas is simple: Christmas, at the end of the day, after he’s stolen everything from their houses, means more than the presents under the tree or the decorations.
This is definitely something I want to pass onto my kids and Dr. Suess has a memorable way for your kids to learn the lesson.
What’s your favorite Dr. Suess project? Comment below. I’d love to add more to my list!