Above you will find a video presentation of one of my favorite Dr Seuss’ stories. It’s not my all time favorite but it’s up there. Now we all know this man is a genius. He has written a ton of children’s books. He has a bunch of cute stories about cats in hats, red fish and blue (which I admit taught me that the plural of fish is fish). But I have to say what he excels at writing stories that teach children valuable lessons while (hopefully) re-instilling important values into the adults that read them.
I know you are probably wondering where this post came from. Well to answer that, I’ll ask the same question that was asked to me: What book do you think is the best book needed for this day and age? I sat there in class trying to figure out what book do I think people in this time need to read. Everyone came up with great answers some from the canon and others that most of us have encounter in our lives. And then it was my turn and it came to me. The Sneetches.
Some people gave me blank stares, while others look at me in confusion. There were few, like one or two, that actually knew what I was talking about. I told everyone it was a book, more like a short stories in a book or short stories, by Dr Seuss and didn’t tell them what it was about it hopes that they would look it up. So here I am sharing it with you all.
Here’s the gist (if you decide not to watch the video): There were yellow creatures who lived on a beach. Some had stars on their bellies while others did not. The ones with stars thought they were better and acted that way.
One day a man came into town called Sylvester McMonkey McBean and he had a machine that would help the Sneetches without stars with their plight. They paid him to go through his machine to put stars on their bellies.
Once the star bellied Sneetches got wind of this they paid him to take off their stars so they could be different again. This continued. Each Sneetch kept going in and out of each machine to take off and put on stars.
They did that until they all ran out of money to pay for the changes. Sylvester left to go off to the next business venture while the Sneetches had no more money and not knowing who originally had stars and who didn’t. That say they all became one no matter whether they had a star or not.
If everyone could just read this book and really pay attention to the story and the lessons learned then our world would be much better off. In the story, the creatures were so obsessed with how the others were different from them and how much they wanted to change themselves to fit in that they didn’t realize what they had in common. They were so preoccupied and lost all their money. In the end, it didn’t even matter who had what. All that mattered was that they were all Sneetches.
The cool thing about writing reviews or recommendations is that you do research so you can give all that you can on a subject. What I found out was that Dr Seuss wrote it as a satire of discrimination between races and cultures. It was inspired by his opposition to antisemitism. (See. Genius) Now what kid is going to know anything about satires. They won’t, unless they are baby geniuses, which means this was is really for the people reading this to children. While you teach them these lessons, let them guide you.