The True Facts Concerning History's Barest Family
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Trust Dr. Seuss to dream up seven naked ladies, then set them to the innocent task of discovering folksy "horse truths." That's the situation in this fluffy revisionist tale, first published in 1939 and reissued now on the coattails of a traveling Seuss retrospective (see p. 984) and the best-selling You're Only Old Once. As Seuss would have it, there were not one but seven Lady Godivas in 11th-century Coventry--all sisters, all innocently bare through mere absence of artifice, and each one betrothed to a Peeping brother (only one of whom was named Tom). When old Lord Godiva, the sisters' father, is thrown from his steed and killed, each Lady Godiva vows not to wed until she has discovered one horse truth: one piece of information that will help to make horses safe for posterity. And so, in one mini-chapter apiece, each sister conducts her ridiculous quest--from the first, who is bitten on the nose while examining a lazy mare's yawn, and so concludes "Don't ever look a gift horse in the mouth," to the last, who loses her very last horse before discovering her truth, "Don't lock the barn door after the horse has been stolen." This typically far-fetched and ramshackle Seussian foolery has been classed as adult humor, presumably because the discreetly cartooned nudity might disqualify it as a children's entry. The pictures are frisky and the prose bounces along, but the wit is no more sophisticated than in the author's children's books of the same vintage.
Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1987
ISBN: 039456779X
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1987