One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

17 07 2012

I love Dr. Seuss.  

I grew up on The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who, and The Lorax.  

When I start a poetry unit with my students, I usually hear moans and groans about how much the 12 year olds hate poetry.  Then I let them know that my three favorite poets to talk about in class are poets their already familiar with.  Of course, the good Dr. and Shel Silverstein top the list, then I surprise them by admitting, that while I don’t enjoy the swearing, Eminem is, in my opinion, one of the most talented wordsmiths out there today.

We then look at a few of Silverstein’s best, a few clean versions of Eminem’s best work, and a lot of Dr. Seuss.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is not on that list for me.  It’s just not.

If this was written by Bob Jones, I’d think it was a great Dr. Seuss impression, but it’s not.  It’s got Dr. Seuss’ name on it, but it’s not up to the standards of his best work.  It’s Seuss-lite.  It’s Seuss-ish.

The book starts out with counting a variety of fish of different colors, shapes, and sizes.  That’s all good, because some of Dr. Seuss’ books don’t tell a story, but teach fun lessons about numbers, shapes, letters, colors, or body parts.  That’s the beginning.

Pretty quickly we run out of fish, and the book devolves into a B-list blend of Fox in Socks (which is fun because of the tongue twisters) and There’s a Wocket in my Pocket (which I like for all the funny creatures Seuss introduces).  What works for Fox and Wocket just doesn’t work as well here.  Definitely worth reading just for the Seuss pictures, but not the Doc’s best effort.

I’m on a quest to read 90 books in 90 days this summer.  This was #44.  





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