The Library: Life lessons by Dr Seuss

Of Bavarian heritage, Theodor Seuss Giesel, known around the globe as Dr Seuss (correctly pronounced Zoice, not Soose) is the author of children’s books that have contributed to a love of reading in children for almost 100 years. Dr Seuss understood better than most that children can spot a fake a mile way.  While his books can appear to be nonsense held together with some witty illustrations, Dr Seuss was a master of introducing some heavy hitting life lessons in an easily digestible package.

Two books that provide essential lessons for little minds are I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew and Oh, The Places You’ll Go

I_Had_Trouble_in_Getting_to_Solla_SollewFor a valuable discourse in dealing with your troubles rather than running away from them, you can’t go past I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew. In fact there are many adults who could do with a refresher read of this 1965 classic. The tale follows the adventures and misadventures of the hero as he leaves his home in the Valley of Vung, and the problems he was having with a green-headed Haired Quilligan Quail, a Skrink and a rock. As he journeys to Solla Sollew (where they never have troubles! At least, very few) he deals with charlatans, dictators and quite a few real problems. When he finally arrives at Solla Sollew, he finds more troubles but realises that he is better off back in the Valley of Vung sorting out his original troubles.

I’d have no more troubles…
That’s what the man said.

So I started to go.
But I didn’t.
I did some quick thinking
Inside of my head.

Then I started back home
To the Valley of Vung.
I know I’ll have troubles.
I’ll, maybe, get stung.
I’ll always have troubles…

OhThe_Places_Youll_GoMotivational books and teachings have created a multi-billion dollar global industry but if you blend up the messages of Anthony Robbins, Deepak Chopra and Suze Orman, toss in some light-hearted wit and colourful illustrations, simmer their message down to a nice rich jus – you would get Oh, The Places You’ll Go.

It is the original life inspiration book (and we would comfortably bet that those people above have a copy somewhere on their bookshelves) and it should be read to all children weekly. One of the best parts of this book (and unlike some motivational material out there) it throws in a good dose of realism:

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
the Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

For readers and listeners, there are timeless gems of wisdom in both these books – they appeal to anybody, of any age, in any situation. For a guy who was reportedly forced to resign from working on his college magazine for drinking in his room with friends (sounds harsh, but it was in the middle of Prohibition), Dr Seuss has created a reading legacy that will hopefully be part of childhoods for generations to come. If you don’t have these in your bookshelf, they are available from all bookshops – real and virtual, and your local library.

Need more books? Go to The Library


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