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Your Favorite Seuss

13 Dr. Seuss Stories and More

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Cover art of Your Favorite Seuss: A Baker's Dozen by the One and Only Dr. Seuss
Random House
Your Favorite Seuss is a book of stories and much more that will appeal to a wide range of ages. As its subtitle states, the book contains A Baker's Dozen by the One and Only Dr. Seuss. In addition to some of the most well-known children's stories by Dr. Seuss (the pseudonym of Theodor Geisel), the book includes some lesser-known gems and a lot more.

The Seuss Stories in the Book

Your Favorite Seuss includes the following stories that were written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss and originally published as children's picture books or beginning reader books: If you're a Dr. Seuss fan, most, but not necessarily all, of these stories will be familiar to you. If you are not that familiar with Seuss, he is known for his rhymes, quirky characters, humor and the life lessons in his picture books and books for beginning readers.

With his beginning reader books, Seuss proved that even with a controlled vocabulary of fewer than 250 words, it is possible to create books that beginning readers will love. Both the picture books and the books for beginning readers by Seuss reflect his skill, imagination, sense of humor and wisdom. All of the children's books by Dr. Seuss make terrific read alouds.

The Extras in Your Favorite Seuss

This Dr. Seuss collection was compiled by Janet Schulman, editor, and Cathy Goldsmith, art director, both of whom worked at Random House, Seuss's publisher, during the last 11 years of his life. Their affection for Dr. Seuss and his work is evident in the book's design and contents, particularly all of the "extras."

There is a four-page illustrated biography of Dr. Seuss at the beginning of the book. After each story, there are several illustrated pages on Seuss's life and work, including his sculptures of Animals That Never Were and his World War II cartoons. At the end of Your Favorite Seuss, there is a list of the children's books written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss.

My favorite "extra" is the introductory essay before each story. Essayists include a children's book critic, a historian, a bookseller a children's librarian, and the widow of Dr. Seuss, among others. Some of the authors and illustrators represented are Stan and Jan Berenstain, Christopher Paolini, Lane Smith and John Lithgow. Each of the essayists writes from a personal viewpoint as to the impact of Seuss's work in general and the impact of the specific story each is introducing.

For example, producer and composer Christopher Cerf, in writing about Horton Hears A Who!, quotes Seuss's words, "A person's a person no matter how small" and then goes on to say, "The book embodies a principle that defines all of Ted Geisel's work: that children be given all the care and respect that authors usually reserve only for their fellow grown-ups."

Your Favorite Seuss: My Recommendation

Your Favorite Seuss: A Baker's Dozen by the One and Only Dr. Seuss has something for small children to adults. The rhythm/rhyme in his writing, his fanciful characters and illustrations, his wisdom and his humor have made Seuss books popular with small children, older kids, teens and adults. A number of the stories in the collection, such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have become classics.

At 368-pages, Your Favorite Seuss is too big and heavy to be easily handled by a small child, but it would be an excellent addition to a family's collection of children's stories to read aloud together. There are stories in the collection that will appeal to all ages, including young children. Older children, teens and adults will find the introductory essays and biographical information of interest. I certainly did. (Random House, 2004. ISBN: 9780375810619)

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