Dr. Seuss Stories with Lessons
So many Dr. Seuss stories contain important lessons
(Click to a list of Dr. Seuss stories sorted by the lessons they teach.)
People speak of Dr. Seuss's hidden messages. Well, if by "hidden" you mean that Seuss, unlike Aesop, didn't state the morals of his stories outright, I guess you could say they're hidden.
In my opinion, like most fiction writers, Seuss said what he wanted to say, and that often included some meaning, some lessons that could be taken from the story.
Well, since everyone loves Dr. Seuss, but few are familiar with the full extent of his work, I thought I'd take it upon myself to list the Dr. Seuss stories that (in my humble opinion) contain lessons. And since I'm the one doing the listing, it'll again be my humble opinion as to what those lessons are.
(Click for a full listing of Dr. Seuss books.)
Where the lessons are in bold, that's me saying that the Dr. Seuss lesson is a central theme of the story. When unbolded, that's me saying Seuss's message is a bit hidden and not so prominent.
Where Dr. Seuss book titles appear as links, that's because a full review of the book appears on this site.
Dr. Seuss stories
Dr. Seuss lessons!
- Accept who you are (Tadd and Todd)
- Avoid the quick fix (The Cat in the Hat Comes Back)
- Be inclusive (The Sneetches, Hooper Humperdink…? Not Him!)
- Beware the law of unintended consequences (Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!)
- Brains beat brawn (The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga)
- Care for the helpless (Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!)
- Cheer up! (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?)
- Confront obstacles rather than avoiding them (I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew)
- Different is good (Hurray for Diffendoofer Day!)
- Don't be a sucker (Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose)
- Don't be overwhelmed by your options (Hunches In Bunches)
- Don't be stubborn (The Zax)
- Don't boast (I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today, The Big Brag)
- Don't get greedy (The Bippolo Seed)
- Don't judge people for what they have or don't have (The Sneetches)
- Don't mess with Mother Nature (Bartholomew and the Oobleck, The Lorax)
- Don't villainize or be scared of others for being different (The Butter Battle Book, The Sneetches, What Was I Scared of?)
- Do what's right (Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!)
- Follow Instructions (Gustav, the Goldfish)
- Good intentions result in good outcomes (The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins)
- Go to sleep already! (The Sleep Book)
- Have an opinion! (Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog?)
- Have a positive physical self-image (The Shape of Me and Other Stuff)
- Imagination heals (I Wish That I Had Duck Feet)
- Is confession good for the soul? (The Cat in the Hat)
- I deserve a day of rest (I Am Not Going to Get Up Today)
- Kids are the same everywhere (Come over to My House)
- Look forward to life! (Oh, the Places You'll Go!, Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should be a Vet!, You're Only Old Once!), The Great Henry McBride)
- Loose lips sink ships (Steak for Supper)
- No one is better than anyone else (King Looie Katz, Yertle the Turtle)
- Reading is great! (I Can Read with My Eyes Shut)
- Stand up for what's right (Bartholomew and the Oobleck)
- Nobody gets everything they want (Happy Birthday to You, Please Try to Remember the First of Octember)
- Take joy in the joy of others (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
- Take responsibility for the environment (The Lorax)
- Take care of your choppers! (The Tooth Book)
- Try new foods (Green Eggs and Ham)
- Use your imagination! (And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Circus, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligott's Pool, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, On Beyond Zebra!)
- Vanity will be regretted (Gertrude McFuzz, King Looie Katz, Yertle the Turtle)
- War is to be avoided at all costs (The Butter Battle Book)
- Work and play should be in balance (The King's Stilts)
To my mind, Dr. Seuss stories contain lessons that are proving much more timeless than Aesop's, which often seem contrary to what we seek to teach our children today.