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."
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.