How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr Seuss
|How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr Seuss|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: Part of the "yellow back" Seuss series, designed for fluent readers, but also eminently suitable for reading aloud to younger children, Grinch has all the Seuss signature features: illustrations for which the word quirky must have been invented and the wonderful, energetic, confident, anarchic rhyme. Highly recommended by The Bookbag.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 64Harper Collins Children's Books||Date: October 2003|
Dr Seuss books are full of strange and wonderful creatures, drawn in his inimitable style and named thus. Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks and Yertle the Turtle are all up there in the front or back benches of the children's Hall of Fame and Grinch is another of the Seussian amazing beasts worth knowing.
I have to say I was rather reluctant at the first sight of the book: I had a vague memory of a long, boring and a rather terrible movie I was made to half-watch on the television during one family visit. But I needn't have worried: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a great book and if your child doesn't yet know it, this 50th birthday edition would make a great pre-Christmas present.
Part of the "yellow back" Seuss series, designed for fluent readers, but also eminently suitable for reading aloud to younger children, Grinch has all the Seuss signature features: illustrations for which the word quirky must have been invented and the wonderful, energetic, confident, anarchic rhyme. I often feel Seuss is going to fail and fall off a rhyme and consonance tower of verse, but he somehow always pulls it off - sometimes just by inventing a word.
Grinch is actually, and I suppose inevitably, less anarchic and more conventional tale as it delves into the "true meaning of Christmas" land. A grumpy Grinch hates Christmas - possibly because his heart is too small - and is desperate to stop it from coming. He gets a wonderful, awful idea and decides to dress up as Santa and steal it from the happy little creatures of Who-ville: the food, the presents, the stockings and even the trees! To his dismay, Christmas still comes and the Whos sing loudly and joyfully. What will Grinch do?
I think we all know, and those who don't can get the book can find out. The moral is there, perfectly: it's got nothing to do with the external trappings, the joy is in the people and presents or no presents, feast or no feast, Christmas will come regardless and all in the right frame of mind can celebrate. And if it's done in good spirit, Who-knows, maybe the transformed Grinch himself will whizzz down to distribute the stolen presents back and carve the roast beast.
Highly recommended for all that like Seuss aged 3 and above, and if you have to have one positive Christmas tale you can as well make it this one (though, as now commonplace, the Christian part is non-existent).
And remember, Grinch, as all Seuss, is meant to be read aloud, with expression, oomph and as much hype and histrionics as possible. You could even make a family performance!
Thanks to the publishers for reminding the Bookbag of this gem.
For another book which reminds us of the true message of Christmas, but in a very different style, you might like to look at Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo. The Bloomsbury Christmas Treasury by Sally Grindley is also well worth a look.