Boise Book Nook: Dr. Seuss Edition!

Hey all you Boise Book Nook readers! We here at Her Campus Boise State hope you took advantage of Read Across America Week, because we sure did!

This week, we took a break for a little guilty pleasure reading…and went all the way back to the playground! In honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday (March 2nd), here are just a couple of his books with messages that meant something as children, but mean so much more now that we’re adults who know what’s what in the world!

The Cat in the Hat

Ah, “The Cat in the Hat.” The creature who became Seuss’ symbol wreaked so much havoc! As children, the story taught us that we can make our own fun on stormy days and that we need to clean up our toys. As we get older, we picked up on the danger of inviting strangers inside the house without a parent present and questions our integrity at the end, asking us whether the children should lie to their mother and what we’d do in their place. Now, there’s another message that can be learned: you can’t overload yourself, because eventually things will get dropped.

The Lorax

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

In other words, if we want to see a change, we need to BE the change. Yes, this message was political/environmental in its application. However, it can be translated to ANY difference we’d like to see in the world! That being said, you can’t ignore the environmental message. The Lorax was a creature there to “speak for the trees” and was guardian to all of the forest’s creatures. It showed the negative side of us turning a blind eye to the destruction of the world around us for personal gain.

Green Eggs and Ham

This book was easily my favorite as a child. The exasperation of the speaker with Sam was very comical, as was Sam’s persistence. There were a couple of lessons to be learned here, as well! Firstly, there was the obvious: just because you think you may not like something, you should try it, anyway. If you don’t like it, that’s okay! However, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised! Looking back, Sam’s persistence was a little much…but it taught you that anything can be accomplished and any mind can be changed with enough persistence. As long as you are truly dedicated, you can do anything! (While in this day and age accepting random, strange colored food from a person you just met is questionable at best, the era that this was written for was far different from our world today.)

Horton Hears a Who

“A Person’s a Person, no matter how small.”

While this has now been bent to a new political platform, considering that this book was originally published in 1954, it’s a pretty safe bet that the social commentary here was aimed at the rampant racism of the time. In a world that has started recovering from the tragedy of the Holocaust and in a country that is supposed to promote freedom, the Jim Crow laws violated basic rights. That same year, segregation in public schools came to an end in the historical court case of Brown v. Board of Education!

Folks, it doesn’t matter if a person is different from you. Be considerate! They may come from a different social class, a different clique, a different country; they may look different or sound different or have a different lifestyle than you…but when it comes down to it, we all look the same under the skin. When we get hurt, we all bleed the same blood. When we feel joy or sorrow, we all can feel the same emotions. We are all the same, when we put our differences aside. Dr. Seuss and his elephant, Horton, knew it, and we should, too.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Finally, the big one! This book proves to be an inspiration to this day. A common graduation present for high school and college graduates alike, you can’t deny the inspiration found within these pages. It covers the possibility for success. It covers the likelihood of the occasional failure and getting stuck in “the waiting place.” It encourages you to keep going, and to think for yourself and make your own decisions! This book is so incredible, and there are times where I STILL have to go back and read it because I need a boost. I highly recommend to anyone feeling a little down or a little unsure that they do the same.

 

So, whatever book you chose to spend your time with this week, enjoy it! Look for the unexpected lessons! Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a solution to a problem you didn’t know you had! Until next week, I leave you with these words:

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So…get on your way!”