My friend Joe S. recommended this book to me yesterday. I always seem to forget how brilliant Dr Seuss was early in his career.
Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr Seuss received a Caldecott Honor in 1950 the year my parents got married. It is a sequel and one of his few titles that is told in prose not rhyme, although there are quite a few rhymes in the book. This is a timeless tale and fits in quite nicely with today's popular books as it is all about magic!
I love a story that teaches a lesson without being preachy. There are actually many lessons in the book but the one that strikes me the most is the lesson that simple words and truths can be very powerful. This is the story of a king who thinks he can get anything he wants just because he wants it. His sense of entitlement is amazing. When disaster strikes because of this sense of entitlement, it takes a little boy to tell him the truth. Of course the king doesn't hear the truth and only see's what he wants to see. By then it is too late. Once the king understands it is his mistakes that caused the pain of the Oobleck's and is truly sorry for what he has done is the disaster averted. Bartholomew is a great character because he told the truth even if it wasn't a popular thing to hear. He has a strength of character that all kids (and some adults) should emulate. Everyone makes mistakes but if we realize that something is our fault and own up to it and can say the simple words "I'm Sorry" things can always get better.
Thanks Joe S. for reminding me of this wonderful book! It is not one of Dr Seuss' more popular titles but it should be.