Friday, October 12, 2012

Perfect Picture Book: The Sneetches

Here's my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:


The Sneetches and Other Stories
Written and Illustrated by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 1961, renewed 1989

Suitable for: ages 4 and up

Theme/Topic: Diversity, Discrimination

Opening: "Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches
Had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches
Had none upon thars.

Those stars weren't so big. They were really so small
You might think such a thing wouldn't matter at all."

Brief Synopsis:
Ah, the stars do matter to the Sneetches. Everything changes when Sylvester McMonkey McBean "the Fix-it-Up Chappie" arrives and promises to fix it all — for a fee. Confusion follows as Sneetches remove stars and add them. The other three stories in this book are whimsical, funny and share a message.

Link to Resources: Apples4Teacher has some games and activities involving Sneetches. Teaching Tolerance has an anti-racism activity for The Sneetches. The Teach Peace Now site shares a learning activity video called A Class Divided.

Why I chose the book:  Toddler Tornado aka Enzo had a long day on Thursday. I couldn't find the book I planned to review. "Here booky. Come out booky." Why doesn't that work? The book may be hiding under a pile — that's my code name for organization. Before bed, Enzo grabbed The Sneetches. I was hesitant to read it with him, because he doesn't always tolerate the length of Dr. Seuss books. He sat there hand under chin, listened to every word and studied the illustrations of the yellow sneetches with stars and without.

An hour later, I saw a few "plain-belly sneetches" and "star-belly sneetches"-like comments on Facebook and Twitter during the vice presidential debate. So, it was probably a good thing that I have "misplaced" my other book. The sneetches made me focus on tolerance and different viewpoints.

Don't worry, Toddler Tornado will kick up some dust (or a stack of picture books) to find my intended selection. I have faith in his abilities to find the right book at the right moment.

For more Perfect Picture Books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

24 comments:

  1. Enzo has great taste :) This is an awesome title to add to our list! You can never go wrong with Dr. Seuss or with a story that encourages tolerance and acceptance. Thanks for sharing, Stacy, and good luck finding the other book!

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    1. Fingers crossed that Enzo can discover it again!

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  2. I've never seen this book before! Thanks for talking about it. I love Dr. Seuss. I love PBs and as I wrote about in my last blog post, they are not so easy to write as some people think. They take lots of revision and lots of thought to get it 'just' right.

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    1. Yes they do take a lot ot get "just" right. We have an assortment of Dr. Seuss books. We are now discovering them together as Enzo can tolerate the length.

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  3. I had a love-hate relationship with this book when I was young. I loved the Sneetches story, but hated the one about the empty pants -- too scary! It's nice to see this blast from the past.

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    1. Carrie, I skipped that one the other night. :)

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  4. Great story about how you came to review this book -- and it is and appropriate read about tolerances and differences. I vaguely remember reading this book to my daughter, so I appreciate your sharing it again.

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    1. Patricia, I'm sure we'll be reading it again.

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  5. Enzo has Suess-smarts! And I had the opposite reaction to Carrie's as a kid - that was my favorite part!

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    1. Julie, Fortunately, he will sit through Suess now. A couple months ago, he wouldn't.

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  6. This was the perfect picture book for today. Enzo is wise. (I must must MUST read more Dr. Seuss!)

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    1. Beth, I like to think he is. Sometimes, the only explanation for his behavior is "well, he's 2."

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  7. Hi, Stacy! I think Dr. Seuss is a good choice. My son would always sit still for Dr. Seuss. One of our favorites was THE LORAX.

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    1. Susanne, We still haven't read that one together. One day ...

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  8. I like all Seuss and this pick seems very timely. Good work Enzo!

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  9. Good'ole Enzo, to pick the right book! Take my advice Mum, leave it to the expert... *giggles*

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    1. Cathy and patient dreamer - Yep. He makes great picks.

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  10. Dr. Seuss is the only person I know who can make social issues entertaining, especially to kids. I've used the Sneetches to talk to my kindergarten groups about tolerance and inclusion. Enzo picked a good book!

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    1. Lara, It is the perfect book for those topics.

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  11. Seuss redefined what a perfect picture book is. What a great choice!

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  12. Love it! This is one of my all time favorites.

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  13. What a happy accident that the other book was misplaced.

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  14. I love Dr. Seuss. And your comparison to the presidential race is so true. I can't wait for things to finally settle down. (can you tell I'm a conflict-avoider?)

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  15. I LOVED this book growing up. I think it was my favorite Seuss book. :)

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