I think most of us grew up with Dr. Seuss; I know I certainly did. My mom still (and often) tells the story of having his ABC book memorized and then proving it by reciting the whole thing to me in the car during a horrible snowstorm. "Big A, little a, what begins with A?" Sadly, that one is not included in this compilation. Nor were On Beyond Zebra, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, or Hop on Pop. That's not to say that several of my personal favorites didn't make it in, however. See below for which ones.
This is a great volume, though a tad heavy and not one that children necessarily should handle. I can see reading it to kids but not themselves until they're a bit older. It also contains introductions to each story from different people - Stan & Jan Bernstein, Lane Smith, John Lithgow, and even Audrey Geisel, the "widow of Dr. Seuss" - who have all been touched by his work. I learned something new from each essay and I enjoyed seeing the pages after the stories which discussed his personal artwork, his ads, and his war propaganda work. I'd already read about the last in Dr. Seuss Goes to War.
If you're a Dr. Seuss fan, this collection is a great one to start or include in your collection. The added information was great and having some illustrations printed larger then I'm used to seeing them brought new details to my attention. However, the weight of the book is a problem and some of the books and illustrations were rearranged slightly to fit in the book. Understandable, but I've read the originals and the placements threw me off. But this is one I"m definitely picking up.
And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street - 3
Weirdly, I didn't read this book until I was in high school. Maybe that's why I've never been terribly keen on it. I love how he takes the ordinary and turns it into the extraordinary...but I've just never been able to enjoy this story as much as I know I should. Not sure why.
McElligot's Pool - 5
Now this is more like it. I read in one of the essays that this was one of very few books he experimented with watercolors. I think that is completely appropriate when dealing with underwater worlds. I love how we travel from a tiny hole all the way to the deepest parts of the ocean. There are few things I like better then Seuss drawing fish; not sure why but the details he gives them and the faces, I just can't get enough. Probably one reason I love One Fish Two Red Fish Blue Fish so much.
If I Ran the Zoo - 4
I kinda prefer If I Ran the Circus (as you can easily ascertain from looking at the family copy, the spine is hanging by literally threads), but the creatures are just astounding. My two favorite creatures are the Iota and the Nerd.
Horton Hears a Who! - 4
While I've always enjoyed this tale, I actually enjoy it more as the animated (non-CGI version) and Musical versions. But one of my favorite lines from Seuss' work comes from this book.
After all a person's a person. No matter how small.
The Cat In the Hat -3.5
I'll let you in on a secret. *whisper* I'm not a huge fan of the Cat in the Hat.
There. You've heard my guilty secret. The fact that such a wonderfully fun book was developed using only 223 words is incredible and every time I read this I find myself ticking off the words and noting the ones that come up again and again. And I love the Fish, always have. But the Cat...is not as delightfully charming to me as I think he is to most people. My favorite picture of him is after he's fallen and he has this slightly mournful look. I highly recommend a live action play that was put on that follows the book pretty much perfectly. I think it's based on children's pantomime shows and can be found here.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - 5
This is probably my all time favorite Seuss story. I've loved the Grinch and his story since the first time I heard the story and definitely since the first time I saw the animated version voiced by Boris Karloff. It's simply not Christmas until I've watched that.
Yertle the Turtle - 4
I've always loved the fact that it was Mack's burp that toppled the mighty Yertle. Also, having seen how Seuss drew Hitler before America entered the war, I agree with the essay writer, you don't need the small mustache he planned on giving him. I knew the first time I read it who Yertle was suppose to represent.
Happy Birthday to You! - 4
I've always liked this book though something has puzzled me since the first time I read it. Does everyone in the town get the same birthday celebration? It seems like they're going through a script. And is the economy of the town geared around this? And if so, who pays for "your" special day?
Green Eggs and Ham - 3
Again, another classic Seuss book I've never quite got. I vastly prefer Hop on Pop [though I discourage anyone from actually doing that. ;p ] partially because as a picky eater, I wouldn't have eaten green eggs and ham. I thought for the longest time they were old and their flavors had aged, like cheese.
Yes, I was an odd child when I was young. Why do you ask?
The Sneetches - 5
I love this story! It's so terribly sad but I've always smiled at the end because the Sneetches do learn their lesson. Sneetches can learn.
Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book - 4
This book seriously had me yawning when I read it, I'm not sure I ever had before. I liked how we had a count into the zillions of all those asleep and then asking where the child/reader is. My favorite creatures had to be the Jedd and the Collapsible Frink. I also loved the picture for Mr. and Mrs. J. Carmichael Krox.
The Lorax -4
I've long liked the Lorax, who speaks for the trees. The word, UNLESS, and that Truffula seed have always made me cheer inside.
And I still have no idea what on earth anyone would do with a Thneed.
Oh, the Places You'll Go! - 4
There are parts of this book that remind me of Pontoffel Pock, which I've always loved. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I reacted so positively when I first read this book, but there's other reasons. While it's a happy and congratulatory book, it also doesn't overlook the Lurches, the Slumps, and loneliness that can come of the world after you have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. Sometimes, you don't and sometimes you won't. In the end though, all that matters is you..."get on your way!"