I love my local library and tend to visit the children’s section about once and week. I check out the new books section to see what is hot off the press and then my other strategy is to peruse the books that are opened up on top of the stacks, presumably selected by the librarians for their interest.
Last week Dr. Seuss’ Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! caught my eye in the display on top of the stacks. I brought it home and read it to a second grade girl who had been studying poetry. I thought it would loosen up her image of a poem! We both laughed our way through this clever, hilarious book.
The kids in Dinkerville go to the Diffendoofer School and have a wonderful assortment of teachers who teach listening, laughing, smelling and yelling. Mr.Lowe, the principal is faced with quite a dilemma–they have to pass a special test to see which school is the best. If they don’t do well, the kids will have to go to the dreaded Flobbertown, where everyone does everything the same. Who knew standardized tests were a problem back in 1998 when this book was published!
An added feature of this book is the story behind it. The last pages are devoted to the drawings and text notes found after Dr. Seuss’ death that were the beginnings of this story. His editor enlisted author Jack Prelutsky and an illustrator to “finish” Dr. Seuss’ story and they did a magnificent job. Seeing Dr. Seuss’ initial lists of possible names for the school and pictures developing characters, shows children that even a master story teller brainstorms, revises, and edits his work.
I won’t give away the end of the story but check this book out if you want to giggle and have some fun with language. Kids need to know that playing with language can make you laugh.