Dr. Seuss is always a favorite for young and old

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 20, 2015

By Melissa J. Oleen

Rowan Public Library

I recently had the fun of assessing our Dr. Seuss collection and it is obvious Dr. Seuss is still a much-loved author and all of his books experience heavy circulation. This past fall, we replaced worn titles, restocked favorites that had disappeared from our shelves and doubled our holding of the ever popular “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” just in time for December.

The motivation for this was the publication this year of a never-before-seen Dr. Seuss book, “What Pet Should I Get?” Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991. A box containing the manuscript and finished line art for this book was discovered by a friend of Dr. Seuss and his long time secretary in 2013.

They took it to Random House where Dr. Seuss’s longtime art director, Cathy Goldsmith, was convinced that the work dated to between 1958 and 1962. Goldsmith also believes that the children in this book are the same children depicted in “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” “One Fish” is about a boy and girl who meet all kind of unique creatures with special talents.

“What Pet Should I Get?” is about two siblings who are allowed to pick out a pet. They visit a pet store and discuss all the different types of pets they see and try to narrow their choice down to just one. This Dr. Seuss book leaves the reader guessing as to just which pet they picked, which can easily lead to a fun discussion between the reader and the listeners.

While updating the Seuss collection, I came across some less well-known Dr. Seuss titles. “You’re Only Old Once: A Book for Obsolete Children” is a title that anyone who has ever experienced “stethoscope row” and being “properly pilled and properly billed” will appreciate. This book is written for a much older audience than Dr. Seuss’ other titles and showcases his adult wit. If medical appointments make up 70 percent of your social calendar, this book will help you find some humor in it all.

“Sneetches and other Stories” contains four short tales. If you need a shorter Dr. Seuss story to read aloud before bedtime or to a group of children, one of these stories might be just the thing. My favorite is “Too Many Daves” in which Mrs. McCave names all 23 of her children Dave!

“Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories” is a collection of stories by Dr. Seuss that were first published in Redbook magazine between 1950 and 1955. One of the titles in this collection is “How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town.” The plan was to publish this story as a standalone book in 1957. This never happened because two little titles, “The Cat in the Hat” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” came out first that year and dramatically changed things for Dr. Seuss and his publisher, both of whom never got back around to the Officer Pat story.

It you are tired of reading “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” this collection includes “The Hoobub and the Grinch.” This is not the same Grinch character but your young listener will see the similarities as this Grinch works to sell a piece of green string by convincing the Hoobub it is better than the sun. Not being one to spoil an ending, I will leave it to you to come to the library and find out if he succeeded.

For more information on Dr. Seuss, his books and the characters that appear in them, visit the website, www.seussville.com. This interactive site is part of Random House and has a lot of fun games, activities and videos as well as information on each book. Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated 44 books for children and you can find them all at Rowan Public Library.

Reading with Ringling: Through Jan. 31, 2016. Children ages 2-12 may register at any library location to read and report on five books to receive a voucher for a ticket to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Jan. 27-21, 2016, at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte. For information and program rules, call 704-216-8234 or visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

“The Santa Clause” movie: East, Dec. 22, 5-6:30 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit with this comedy starring Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an ordinary man who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve.  Festive refreshments provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children 7 to 9 years old (first to third grade) can reserve a 15-minute session to read aloud to a therapy dog. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m., Dec. 22 and Jan. 12, Duprix; Jan. 5, Oliver.  East, Mondays, 3:30 p.m., Dec. 21 and Jan. 4, Oliver.

Displays: Headquarters, kid art and lunch boxes; South, miniature doll houses; East, “It’s a Wonderful Life” Christmas village.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.