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Sunday, October 09, 2016

Groove Books: A new Dr Seuss Book - Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories

The four stories in this book were originally published as installments of a monthly column that Dr. Seuss wrote for Redbook magazine during the 1950s. Dr. Seuss died in 1991, but the stories were later rediscovered by Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen,

The four stories include in the book are:
  • ."Horton and the Kwuggerbug": A Kwuggerbug lands on Horton the Elephant's trunk and asks him to take him to his Beezlenut Tree, which Horton agrees to since when they get there the bug promises Horton will get half the nuts. The journey to the Beezlenut tree is quite hazardous, and Horton goes through all the hardships including swimming across a large crocodile infested river and climbing a large and rocky mountain, with the Kwuggerbug taking advantage of Horton's good nature. In the end, the Kwuggerbug tries to double-cross Horton, but a well-timed sneeze makes things more even.
  • ."Marco Comes Late": Marco from And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street explains to his teacher why he was late for school. His explanation involves a bird who landed on his books and laid an egg there, and various animals who argue over whether he should protect the egg or get to school on time. In the end, the teacher sees through the tall tale for the morsel of truth.
  • ."How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town": Officer Pat sees a gnat about to disturb a cat and realizes this could be the start of a string of disasters that could obliterate the town. So Officer Pat intervenes and the town is saved.
  • ."The Hoobub and the Grinch": A very short story in which a Grinch convinces a Hoobub that a piece of green string is better than the sun.
Michael Taube of The Washington Times was enthusiastic about the book, writing, "If you loved Dr. Seuss as a child (and as an adult), these little-known stories will bring back many fond memories." The reviewer for Publishers Weekly was more critical, stating, "By no means gems, these archives suggest how Geisel tinkered with characters, developed his signature tetrameter, and commented on ethical issues, circa 1950."

I'd definitely agree with that.   As soon as the book arrived both my girls pounced on it and started to read along.  The zaniness is still there and all the fun remains.   Just like the nutty Horton books we knew, this is a fine extension.

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