Dr. Seuss's Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
Children's book review by Steve Barancik
Poogle-Horn Players Are Puffing in Poo-Boken!
Everyone feels sorry for themselves sometime, and sometimes parents find themselves having to help their children address it.
There's the serious, "Children are starving in some far-off land approach," which is just terrific if you think that guilt is the perfect cure for sorrow.
And then there's the Seussian approach:
And, oh! Just suppose
you were poor Harry Haddow.
Try as he will
He can't make any shadow!
He thinks that, perhaps, something's wrong with his Gizz.
And I think that, by golly, there probably is.
In other words, maybe the cure for temporary sourness is silliness!
Seuss presents an array of characters you wouldn't want to be, like the Hawtch-Hawtcher Bee-Watcher, whose job is to watch "the lazy town bee..."
A bee that is watched will work harder, you see.
The book doesn't go any deeper than that, but it's wonderful nonetheless. The endless parade of Seussian characters with thankless jobs, hopeless predicaments and nonsense maladies is sure to overwhelm the "woe-is-me's" with silliness.
The illustrations are even better than usual, because with every down-on-his-luck character Seuss introduces, he gets to draw an entirely fresh tableau. Each turn of the page brings new wonders.
So don't YOU feel blue. Don't get down in the dumps.
You're lucky you don't have a Borfin that shlumps!
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? is the literary equivalent of tickling as a cure for the grumps.
Webmaster's note: Does your child too often feel like he/she has gotten the short end of the stick, and it seems like a bigger issue than silliness can address? You'll want to check out our downloadable story, How Bobo Learned to Be Satisfied.
Read more of Steve's reviews.
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