Books Early Readers Picture Books Reading Themes Throwback Reads and Hot for Cybils!

[Throwback Reads] Lesser Known Seuss’ Titles (at least to me) and Clotilde Perrin’s At The Same Moment Around the World

Myra here.

Widget courtesy of the talented Iphigene.
Widget courtesy of the talented Iphigene.

As I was going through quite a number of beginner books for our current reading theme – I did a frenzied book borrowing of many Dr. Seuss titles – some are beloved and intimately familiar to me; others are actually fairly unfamiliar ones. Here are some of them. I also included a nominated CYBILS fiction picture book title as it related to a Dr. Seuss title here. Nice to juxtapose a fairly new title with older ones.

IMG_9123Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

Written and Illustrated by: Dr. Seuss
Published byRandom House, 1970.
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

One of the first things that children love to do is make animal voices. As young kids are unable to communicate in multi-syllabic words and are still in the process of language acquisition, grunts and moos and buzzing sounds are quite enjoyable to them, particularly when done by adults.

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It is with great joy that I discovered this little-known title of Dr. Seuss (at least to me, as I noted). Mr. Brown is not only able to make loud noises and big sounds, he could also whisper and even make fish kisses too:

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There is also an interactive quality to the writing that invites children to “try” the sounds that Mr. Brown is making in such an unabashed fashion. I think it was the soft whisper of that butterfly that did it for me. Dr. Seuss does not only aims to educate, he also charms, disarms, and delights. I would have loved reading this as a child.

Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!IMG_9129

Written and Illustrated by: Dr Seuss
Published by: Random House, 1972
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Admittedly, this is one Dr. Seuss title that did not appeal to me that much. The premise is simple – Marvin K. Mooney is being asked to “please go now!” It really doesn’t matter how he goes: it could be on skates or skis, in a Zike-Bike or an old blue shoe, so long as he please go.

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With Dr. Seuss’ penchant for extravagance and going over-the-top, the variety of means through which Marvin K. Mooney can ‘please’ go – becomes ever more fantastical as the reader turns the page. What I actually liked about this book is the abrupt ending which earned a loud chuckle from me. Simple and straightforward – cutting through the absurdity and the entreaties. What that is exactly, I shall leave for you to discover.

IMG_9138I Am Not Going To Get Up Today!

Written byDr. Seuss Illustrated by: James Stevenson
Published by: Random House, 1987
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

The title alone of this book is enough to make me want to purchase it. This young boy is pretty determined – it does not matter what you, the neighbors, or even the police do – he refuses to get up today.

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These lines actually reminded me of a nominated CYBILS title that I am also featuring here today, as it talks about children waking up in various parts of the world. I doubt if Dr. Seuss had any intention of making this title multicultural – it simply shows the lengths through which this kid refuses to wake up – he is absolutely sleeping in!

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And true to form, it becomes increasingly elaborate with contraptions such as the one shared above to an entire brass band making a ruckus outside the house to wake this young boy up:

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But no siree, he refuses to get up – not for any big brass band, not for marshmallow dips, not even when you bring in the United States Marines, he will not get up today, not him, oh no not at all – not for anything in the world.

Sigh. It appeals to the exhausted spirit who longs for the same kind of luxury that the young boy declared to be his that day, as he simply refuses to get up today.

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At The Same Moment Around the WorldIMG_8922

Written and Illustrated by: Clotilde Perrin
Published by: Random House, 1972
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Originally, I wanted to create a separate post for this book. However, seeing how tangentially connected it is to Dr. Seuss’ I Am Not Going to Get Up Today, I just thought of including it in this post here. 🙂

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I learned about this book through Erik from This Kid Reviews Books. I knew right then and there that this is a book that I would love. Unlike the young boy above, this book celebrates the quiet waking up of children from around the world beginning with Keita who wakes up at six o’clock in the morning in Dakar Senegal “to help his father count the fish caught during the night.” It doesn’t have the insouciant, devil-may-care attitude of our earlier protagonist. This book has a more thoughtful rendering of realities of children from all over the globe. 

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It gradually moves from Senegal to Paris to Bulgaria to Baghdad, Iraq and Dubai United Arab Emirates as shown in the picture above. What made this book special for me, apart from the inclusion of countries not traditionally represented in children’s picturebooks, is how it refrained from the usual stereotypes, but rather celebrates the everyday occurrences in a child’s life such as Yasmine going to market (as shown above) or Nadia looking out from her window as the workers construct a new building.

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And how could one not fall in love with the ethereal quality of the artwork, the unnatural size of the picturebook with its rectangular/tall design, and the fact that it all comes together in the end, weaving back so beautifully to where it started as the story moves around the world throughout the day – absolutely brilliant.

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Teachers would also be pleased to note that it has a very detailed backmatter on time zones, early time keeping, and how timezones were invented in accessible, conversational language. It also has a foldable world map that details where exactly the young children in the story live around the globe. A beautiful book that deserves to be part of any book lover’s collection.

3 comments on “[Throwback Reads] Lesser Known Seuss’ Titles (at least to me) and Clotilde Perrin’s At The Same Moment Around the World

  1. Catherine Johnson

    I’ve heard seen those Dr. Seuss books either. Thanks fo sharing. The other book looks great too.

    Like

  2. I just love Seuss and with Marvin K. Mooney, I used to have SO much fun reading that to my son. I would really get into it and made him laugh a lot. It’s one of my favorite Seuss books for that very reason 🙂 And this “time zone” one looks great!

    Like

  3. Pingback: [Nonfiction Wednesday] Unlocking The Mysteries Of Time In A Perpetual Picture Atlas – Gathering Books

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