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[Throwback Reads] Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Reading With Your Eyes Shut – Dr. Seuss Extravaganza

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.

IMG_9571The Cat In The Hat

Written and Illustrated by: Dr. Seuss
Published by: Random House, 1957.
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

It has been such a long time since I’ve read this book that I marvel at the chaotic spirit, the release of the inner wild, and the fear and apprehension of the two children exacerbated of course by the voice of reason: the fish trapped in his bowl.

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From seemingly-out-of-nowhere, the Cat in the Hat comes to save the proverbial day. It doesn’t matter what the weather is outside, the Cat in the Hat knows what it means to have FUN!

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From a psychoanalytic perspective, one can regard the cat as the raging id, while the Fish of course is the Superego that reins everything in with its moral injunctions, reminding the children that the cat should not be in their home in the first place – see the showdown between the age-old fish with the furrowed brows and the evidently-chastised Cat in the Hat.

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But of course, the Cat in the Hat would not easily be moved. He still has a few tricks up his sleeve, as can be seen in the equally wild Thing 1 and Thing 2:

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Now that I am an adult reading the book, I take pleasure in the young children’s sense of agency. While they seemed overwhelmed, practically helpless, and did not appear to have any self-preservation instincts in the beginning, they found their voices in the end especially when Thing 1 and Thing 2 took pains in almost destroying their entire home.

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I also smiled seeing how the Mother played such a huge influential role despite her absence. Whether the kids will be able to sort out this huge mess before Mother comes home, I shall leave for you to discover.

I Can Read With My Eyes ShutIMG_9580

Written and Illustrated byDr. Seuss
Published byRandom House, 1978.
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I was suprised to discover that I have not actually read this book as a young child. Clearly, this is one of Dr. Seuss’ absolute best books, with the Cat in the Hat demonstrating how he can read in red or read in blueand yes, even with his eyes shut. Although he did provide a caveat:

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Well this I haven’t tried, so I wouldn’t really know for sure, but I’d take the Cat in the Hat’s word for it. This book is a celebration of reading and how there are so many delicious books out there for children to read.

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And apparently, these famous lines are not from another Seuss book entitled “Oh, the Places you’ll go” but from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut:

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Amen to this. 

The Cat in the Hat was named one of the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal and one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children” by National Education Association.

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#AWBRead2015 Reading Challenge: 16 of 35

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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