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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Horton Hatches the Egg

Mrs. Balabusta brought home Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss, for me to read to The PT over Shabbos. For some reason, I thought that we owned this book already, but apparently not. The words were instantly familiar as I sat on the couch with my daughter curled up next to me and dove into the story. I have always loved Dr. Seuss, and in particular, the books written by Ted Geisel himself. The words are perfect. The phrases roll naturally off the tongue. The text has a perfectly metered rhythm. You can't help but speak it in any way other than Dr. Seuss intended it. There are so many tedious, poorly written children's books out there, but you don't really realize it until you've read something like Horton Hatches the Egg.

And I always cry when I read this book. Mrs. B. can vouch for that. In the 15 or so years I've been reading it, my voice has never failed to crack as I get to the end, when the narrator proclaims that "it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that. For Horton was faithful, he sat and he sat." I don't know why. Something about this tale of sincerity, and integrity, and abandonment, and injustice just gets to me. And I feel generally happy, to the point of tears, when poor Horton finally gets to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

I had another reason to get misty over this one. I really haven't read the book in many years. And as the PT sat with my arm 'round her, staring intently at the bright pictures, I thought of the girl to whom I had first read this book, who is now 900 miles away, and who will be home this Shabbos.


Sweettooth120 said...

My favorite Dr. Seuss book is -
The Lorax. A lesson learn for all humankind.

Jack's Shack said...

Tell Fudge I say hello, even though I don't know her. I am excited for you.

MC Aryeh said...

We never had any Dr. Seuss books in the house when I was a child, so I didn't discover them until I was an adult reading them to the children of friends. Books of whimsy and wonder...enjoy the time home with Fudge.

Ezzie said...

A great Dr. Seuss line, which you seem to have taught your family well: "Be yourself, because the people who care don't matter and the people who matter don't care."

Interesting how so many have such wonderful memories associated with Dr. Seuss... The only 3 books I can recall reading with my parents as a child were "Are you my mother?", "Green eggs and ham", and one other. The PT I'm sure will always remember, as Fudge probably does.

Essie said...


Priss said...

The favorite Suess books from my childhood that my parents read to me, and that I read to my younger sibs were "Horton Hears a Who" and "Hop on Pop."
"Green Eggs and Ham" was not allowed in the house for being scandalously unkosher.

PsychoToddler said...

STOP! You must not hop on pop!

Mirty said...

"Hop on Pop" - not just great literature. A veritable instruction manual for children!

Anonymous said...

your post reminds me of a favorite dr. seuss quote of mine, "Don't cry becasue it's over; smile because it happened."

torontopearl said...

Oh-oh, I'm going to rain on your parade. Although I had and still have Dr. Seuss books in my possession, I truly never liked the books...I think it was those eerie looking drawings that made me this way. They sort of spooked me.
HOWEVER, I do enjoy reading the books to my children, reading them quickly and in onelongextendedbreathtoseehowmanypagesIcangetthroughwithoutmylungscollapsing.

REYSQ: Rowdy Eskimos Yodel Silly Questions.

Stacey said...

Wow, this post was timely. I just got done reading my 3.5 year old her favorite bedtime story, Dr. Seuss's "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish."

"From there to here
From here to there
Funny things are everywhere"

Have a wonderful visit with Fudge. I can't wait to read all about it!

Doctor Bean said...

Strangely enough, I'd thought I've read all of Dr. Seuss's stuff, but I've never heard of Horton Hatches the Egg. I took my 7 year-old daughter to the library tonight for elementary-school-story-time and I thought I'd read it but it was checked out! I'll try again next week. Ball-and-chain and I agree with Torontopearl. We were creeped out by Dr. Seuss as kids and only started enjoying him as grown ups.


Viking zoos vandalized, I think by Jorn.

Shira Salamone said...

I remember very well the first time I read "The Lorax" to our son. I hadn't realized that that was the first time in his life that he'd heard a story with a sad ending--the poor kid burst into tears. He got a lot of hugs that night. "The Lorax" remains one of my all-time favorite children's books.


Go keep Queens dog kindly suckling her puppy.

(^Not exactly Pulitzer Prize material. :) )

Mrs. Balabusta said...


It's a really good thing someone went to the library and got library books - in their spare time - not that you wouldn't have the same experience with another book. I think each kid has a "book". I remember reading the Lorax to my little brother until I knew it by heart.

Fudge really liked Hop on Pop, and with Larry it was definitely 4 pups and a worm.

Anne said...

Oh goody, I get to be one of those annoying commenters who plugs my own site.

If we're done mourning the inimitable Dr. Seuss, there's a whole bunch of great kids books out there. And I've gone to the trouble of reviewing them for you:


(I don't know how to do html to make it a link, sorry. Just cut-n-paste, okay? Tx)

PsychoToddler said...

Bookbuds and the art of HTML


for when you don't zoink

Mirty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mirty said...

I did have something to say
and say it I would
but Blogger messed up my HTML code
and that was not good

Anne said...

I cannot code it for your blog
I cannot code in LA smog
I cannot code my website URL
I am not a coding girl

Code it! Code it! Can't you tell
I do not know HTML.

PsychoToddler said...

I do not call you Anne-I-am
I do not call you Anne-I-was
I do not call you comment-spam
I call you Inland Emper-us!

Anne said...


Kiwi the Geek said...

Okay, the audible giggles tell me that it's time to quit lurking. I've been thinking for a few days that I just have to say how much I, a born-again Christian, enjoy your blog. I love reading about your family. I think I need a Jewish dictionary though. It seems few Jews realize that increasing numbers of Christians are figuring out that you're part of our heritage.

FTR, my not-very-educated mother taught me to read with Hop on Pop and One Fish, Two Fish. Great phonics.

I have just made myself a Blogger name, but how do I just post comments without making my own blog? I can't allow myself such an excuse for surfing. :oP

Kiwi the Geek said...

Oops, I forgot to add that I found your visit with the Christian Bible study very interesting. I would love to participate in such a discussion!

PsychoToddler said...

Kiwi: Thanks for de-lurking. You don't need to have your own blog. You can either do what you did, register without starting a blog, or, at least on this site, you can post anonymously, but I do prefer that even my anonymous commenters identify themselves in some way so I know who's saying what.

Re: Jewish Dictionary: I did write up a "Definition of Jewish Terms" just for this reason. Look over in the upper right corner under "Good Posts". If there's anything missing or I use a term that you don't understand, just ask!

ber_12@yahoo.com said...

My favorite is "Sam and the Firefly". It has two clear messages. (1) the power of the pen, and (2) the power of friendship.

Anonymous said...

I also read "Horton Hatches the Egg," and it made me choke up too, right at the end. There is no way that the egg would actually hatch an elephant-bird, but Dr. Suess says "that's the way it should be," and uses his hand of creativity to intervene and bring justice to what would--in reality--be a heartbreaking moment. I highly recommend the book...it really speaks with a deeper wisodm.