This month in the reading room, my son and I have been reading lots of Dr Seuss. Dr Seuss is an absolute favourite in our house. From crazy critters to wacky words, we’ve never read a Dr Seuss book that we didn’t like. We’ve picked our top six Dr Seuss books here to give you some reading inspiration.
This is one of the first books I ever read to my son. He was probably only 13 or 14 months old when I first read it to him. And something about it grabbed him. So we read it over and over. By 3, he had the whole book pretty much memorised. I’d sit holding the book, and as I turned the pages, he’d recite the story.
A Fish Out Of Water is one of Dr Seuss’ beginner books. It has loads of repetition in it, and many of the sentences are quite short. Which is not only great for helping young readers gain confidence, it’s quite handy when you’re interrupted every other second by questions!
The story starts with a young boy picking out a goldfish to take home. He calls him Otto. When they get home, despite the warnings of the pet store owner, he feeds Otto all the food in the box. And Otto starts to grow. But Otto doesn’t just grow a little bit. He grows. And grows. And grows.
And that moves this book from interesting first pet story to fantastical adventure! How will Otto stop growing? Will he fit in the saucepan? The bath? The pool? Who can save him? If you don’t already know the answer, grab yourself a copy and find out with your children.
Wacky Wednesday is my favourite Dr Seuss book. And luckily, it’s my son’s as well! Launching straight in with a shoe on the wall, this book goes from curious to strange to side-splitting crazy. We can’t even make it past page 4 before my son dissolves into hysterical giggles.
Every single page is filled with weird and wacky twists on reality – people with no necks, trees wearing shoes, stroller-pushing tigers. The story follows a young boy who is trying to make someone else see all the wacky things that are happening. And amongst all the wackiness and hilarity, there’s loads of easy to read sentences and counting practice for young learners.
Every time we read this book, we find something new to giggle at or talk about. If you haven’t read this book, you are missing out on a fantastic reading experience. But I’ll warn you, some of the wacky things can be tricky to find….
This book is specifically aimed at younger children, before they are learning to read. It uses simple sentences and words, and illustrations to back up every, single sentence. I’ll admit it can make be quite monotonous to read, particularly if you get asked to read it over and over again. But the beauty of this book is that children can quite often say what’s happening, simply from observing the pictures. Which in my experience has given my son a great sense of accomplishment that he is ‘reading’ the book himself.
The book itself is all about dogs. Big dogs, small dogs, fast dogs, slow dogs, green dogs, red dogs, you get the picture. It’s absolutely brilliant for teaching opposites and colours. And dogs driving cars? Playing checkers? Skiing? Has my son in stitches every time.
But our favourite part of this book are the conversations between two dogs about one’s hat. These two dogs meet four times throughout the book. And each time, one asks, “Do you like my hat?” My son thinks this is so funny, that it is now a part of our daily lives! One of us will just randomly hold something up on our head and ask, “Do you like my hat?” And then we both dissolve into laughter at the craziness we’ve created. I’m guessing you want to know if he liked her hat. You’ll have to read the book. And make sure you go all the way to the end!
The Sneetches is written for more advanced readers, and so is definitely one that I still have to read to my kids. But it’s still a favourite in our house, and I think it actually because of the message it contains. See, the Sneetches are made up of two similar, yet slightly different groups. And nothing but a mark on their bellies separates them.
But what if they could change their appearance? What if the ‘inferior’ Sneetches looked like the ‘superior’ Sneetches? Or the ‘superior’ like the ‘inferior’? Would they be happier? The Sneetches is actually a lovely tale of acceptance and friendship. It’s sparked many conversations in our house about people we know who may look and sound different to us, but how we are actually all the same.
These conversations have helped my son relate more to other children in his class who come from different ethnic backgrounds. They have also given us the chance to talk about one of my cousins who is quite severely handicapped, and then disabilities more broadly. But this book does all of this for us whilst still maintaining that Seussical feeling. It entertains, educates and empowers. And that is a winning combination in my book.
If your children are as into numbers as my son is, then this is a must have book for you. Ten Apples Up On Top follows the adventures of a lion, a dog and a tiger who try to outdo each other by balancing more and more apples on their heads!
Who will drop their apples first? The dog as he skips? The tiger crossing a tightrope? As they add more apples and try zanier feats, your child will be so entertained by their crazy antics, they won’t even realise they’re practicing their counting! My son certainly didn’t.
And what happens when seagulls try to eat the apples? How will the three friends save their apples from being eaten! Full of short sentences and fantastic rhymes, this book is cleverly designed for beginner readers just starting to read on their own.
This is my favourite tongue twister book. The rhymes start off very simple and build up, getting harder and harder quite quickly. It’s another book designed for learner readers to practice with, and it is a great one to use to practice all sorts of sounds.
Mr Fox also introduces us to a whole host of interesting creatures. There’s a Goo-Goose. Ben and Bim. Luke Luck and his duck. And tweetle beetles. Tweetle Beetles! They’re my favourite characters in this book. All these creatures are great for encouraging imaginations. My son goes into hysterics when the tweetle beetles start battling.
Fox in Socks is not only good for helping improve the reading and speaking skills of young children. My sister and I regularly try to increase the speed at which we can read out loud the tweetle beetle battle section. It’s really good fun, and is often incredibly funny to listen to!
There are so many other Dr Seuss books that we love. I’ll be honest, we pretty much love all of them! But these are the six that make the top of my son’s list. I hope you found a title here that you and your little ones might like to read. You can never read too many books!