Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review: What Pet Should I Get? (Dr. Seuss)

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)  (Random House, 2015, 48 pages, $17.99, ages 3-7)

A New Old Book

Another new book by an old author is out for the first time. The other is Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee: this one is What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss.

The classic tale of two kids who can’t make up their minds.  The classic question of what pet to get. . . . Who hasn’t been in this situation, if not with pets, at least with indecision about something. How will the children decide and which pet will they decide on? Or will they?

The big brother and little sister take themselves to the pet store - alone (I know, pet stores today, reputable pet stores at least, do not sell all kinds of pets but this book was drafted more than 50 years ago – and today it may be the big sister and little brother) in this story related by the brother. Today it would be written by the sister most likely and the children would not be permitted to walk to the pet store alone.

They have until noon so must make up their minds soon – dog or cat, rabbit, fish or bird – if they can’t pick one, they may end up with none!

Ah, 50 years ago, it was the brother who made the final decision but what pet did he get? Ah, you will have to read the book to find out and even then you will be pleasantly surprised!

The last few pages are for grown-up children and relate how Dr. Seuss became an overnight sensation after only 20 years as an author, how he would spend hours and hours debating punctuation, months and months on character development, and how the illustrations were also his own. He colored them by numbers.

What Pet may not be the best Seuss book (it is quite dated: the boy gets to choose the children's pet and relates the tale) but it does have a few unforgettable sentences that will surely live on, and have, into the next century!

Thanks to Dr. Seuss (1904 – 1991), many children (and their parents) read sing-song books by heart and laugh out loud as the words play with each other.

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