THE MYSTERY OF THE WOODS

When Will Fanshaw protested the clock and calendar routine imposed by his Grandfather, the old man assured him, "Change is a very bad thing." He said "As a rule" and had one for everything. None of these had ever been broken until Tom Kitten arrived. It was stormy, the door had been looked for the night on schedule, but after much soul searching, the Grandfather let him in. Tom, of course, had his own set of rules. The foremost seemed to be to get out nights to the woods that bordered their cottage. This was absolutely forbidden territory because the Grandfather had a rule about not going near them. One night, Tom slipped out when the locked door was reluctantly opened to a policeman. Will and his Grandfather went to search for him. They were lost in the never-before-investigated woods. The fierce animals that the Grandfather had suspected there, turned out to be small animals quietly going about their own routines. With catly assurance, Tom Kitten found them and led the way home. There, a re-examination of the rules by a newly thoughtful Grandfather led to a separation of the inconsequential from the sensible and necessary. The watercolor illustrations catch the air of a starkly ordered existence as well as the gloom of the night in the woods. Easy to tell or read aloud or to read alone, the story has comfort for the rule-bound as well as some reminders for chronic rule breakers.

Pub Date: May 6, 1964

ISBN: 0060259361

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1964

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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I AM NOT GOING TO GET UP TODAY!

After an eight-year interval, a Beginner Book by this well-loved originator of the series is welcome; and since Seuss hasn't chosen to illustrate it himself, we are lucky to have Stevenson as alternate. In the familiar Seuss pattern of a simple premise exaggerated to comic effect, a boy declares, "My bed is warm. My pillow's deep. Today's the day I'm going to sleep"—regardless of his mother, various arguments, successive waves of reinforcements, including the Marines, and a TV crew filming the momentous event. Actually, the development of the idea is a little tame compared with Seuss' other extravaganzas (and such determined all-day slumber is more the province of teen-agers and the good doctor's contemporaries than of readers at this level); but the book is delightfully enlivened by Stevenson's vigorous illustrations, which considerably augment the text by showing the full extent of the consternation caused by the hero's stubborness. Though there is plenty of the repetition required by learning readers, there are also some unusual words like Memphis, suggesting that this is not the easiest easy reader; but it has enough appeal to keep beginners entertained.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1987

ISBN: 0394892178

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1987

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