In a People House

by Dr. Seuss (writing as Theo. LeSieg)
illustrated by Roy McKie

Dr. Seuss's In a People House
illustrated by Roy McKie

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 0-5

Meet the household nouns!

Frankly, the mouse and bird stars of In a People House have a fair amount in common with the Cat in the Hat.

They weren't invited. They're doing a goodly amount of damage. The big difference is they haven't implicated a couple young children who let them in. Instead, they granted themselves entry through an open window.

Of course, I'm intellectualizing this a good deal more than need be. The pretense of this book is that Mouse - who has been in human houses before - is showing Bird (a newcomer) around.

from In a People House, mouse gives bird a drink

Of course, what Mouse is really doing - in this book from Seuss's Bright and Early reader series - is introducing your child to the written form of a whole lot of familiar household objects.

Seuss's contribution was to craft rhymes as heavily loaded with these simple words as possible. McKie's role was to make sure the pictures matched the words as clearly as possible.

Scissors needle
button thread
cup and saucer
pillow bed

(For those keeping score at home, that's eight nouns and only one conjunction.)

The nouns - that is, the words for which there are illustrations - are oversized and usually in a colored font. All to help your youngster along and help him/her feel the excitement of reading!

There's no plot to speak of, at least in the text, though by depicting the unintentional damage Bird and Mouse are doing as they tour the people house, McKie sets us up for an ending where the owners arrive home and boot the unwanted visitors unceremoniously from the abode.

(Unlike the Cat in the Hat, Mouse and Bird don't take the opportunity to clean up after themselves. And you thought the Cat was setting a bad example!)

In a People House introduces your pre-speakers to some basic things, and your pre-readers to some basic words for those things. What more could you expect!

Read more of Steve's reviews.

Every other Dr. Seuss book.

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