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Article:    Dr. Seuss: Reviews

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r. Seuss proved that some of the silliest rhymes can not only entertain children, they can educate them too. Generations of kids have enjoyed the imaginative settings, characters, and scenarios presented by Dr. Seuss--from Thing One and Thing Two to the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz; and from an animal-imitating Mr. Brown to a very persistent Sam-I-Am.

Dr. Seuss stories ingeniously combine predictable rhymes with unpredictable humor. New generations of children are tickled by Dr. Seuss books, videos, and software games--and parents enjoy the nostalgic ride at the same time since it's more than likely they grew up on Dr. Seuss as well. 

Most people will agree that every family's library should include at least a couple Dr. Seuss books. Today's kids can also find satisfaction in the Beginner Book Videos that allow them to enjoy the books onscreen, and Dr. Seuss software games that feature interactive storybooks.

Cat in the Hat - Cat
Cat in the Hat - Cat
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The Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Videos are quite straightforward--each feature a trio of books in the Dr. Seuss series. The graphics are not fancy. In fact, the videos play much like narrated books -- the original illustrations are not fully animated; rather, they are often cut-outs that are panned to create movement. In some cases, words are shown as the story is told, but the real beauty of these videos is that kids can follow along with their hardcopy books. 

As long as these videos are used as reading aids for young children, there should be few disappointments. These videos stay faithful to the books and are presented without many bells and whistles. However, those looking for fully animated versions probably will be disappointed.

Dr. Seuss's ABC video features the title book--the very first Dr. Seuss Beginner Book published in 1957--as well as I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! and Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? Each letter of the alphabet is presented in both lower-and uppercase and celebrated with zany characters and both familiar and offbeat objects beginning with the letter. This is one of our favorite videos in the series.

[For more information, or to buy: Dr. Seuss's ABC (VHS) or Dr. Seuss's ABC (DVD) at Amazon.com]

In Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham, kids follow the hilarious and persistent "Sam I Am" with his, "try it, you'll like it" until he finally meets his goal. This story is not only wonderful for beginning readers, it's just right for picky eaters. We wish there was full onscreen text, which would boost the educational value of the video, however. Also included on this video are Ten Apples on Top! and The Tooth Book

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy Dr. Seuss - Green Eggs and Ham (VHS) or Dr. Seuss - Green Eggs and Ham (DVD) at Amazon.com ]

 

Dr. Seuss "Double Features" on DVD

coverThose who own DVD players will find great value in the new Dr. Seuss DVD collections. Out now is Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat Comes Back/Hop on Pop, a collection of six narrated Seuss stories, and includes: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Fox in Socks, There's a Wocket in My Pocket, Hop on Pop, Oh Say Can You Say?, and Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now. The Hop on Pop segment is especially educational for beginning and emerging readers with its simple rhymes and focus on word families, and There's a Wocket in My Pocket is hilarious fun. The only "questionable" element of the DVD is a part in the The Cat in the Hat Comes Back story in which they "kill" spots with a gun. These are the actual lines from the book, but parents who prefer to skip over it when reading the books might find this particular section on the DVD somewhat outdated. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat Comes... (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

As far as software goes, a new Scholastic Dr. Seuss bundle of previously-released Dr. Seuss software games is now available. This package includes 3 Dr. Seuss programs: Dr. Seuss ABC, The Cat in the Hat, and Green Eggs & Ham, and is entitled Adventure Workshop Grades Preschool-1st Dr. Seuss. Each interactive storybook features "clickable" words that are fantastic for beginning readers--kids can try to read individual words of the text and receive instant feedback. The software is charming for Dr. Seuss fans. If purchased separately, families may be disappointed in terms of the amount of content, simply because these titles were released quite a few years ago. However, as a bundle, the package is well worth the price.  

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Adventure Workshop Grades Preschool-1st Dr. Seuss at Amazon.com]

Dr. Seuss Grow a Lorax Garden

cover"The Hummingfish swims in the rippulous pond, happily singing its hum hummy song." The classic book by Dr. Seuss, "The Lorax", not only entertains kids, it gives them a rather strong and serious message about the environment. This fantastic kit by Creativity for Kids allows children to build their own fantastical garden, a "Lorax garden", and learn a little about taking care of plants at the same time.

Kids can grow their own little "forest", made up of sprouts and grass, by planting their seeds in the included tray--but not before adding Truffula trees! (Truffula trees are made up of twisted pipe cleaners and fuzzy pom-poms). Children add a winding path of colorful gravel to their little garden, and then position the included figures--the Lorax and the Humming Fish. 

One of the great things about this kit is that the plants grow quite quickly and are rather easy to care for. In fact, it is better not to water them too often. They do need some trimming once in a while. 

Recommended for: Dr. Seuss fans, and any young child who enjoys caring for plants. Kids ages 3-up can participate with some help from their parents, while children ages 7-up will need minimum supervision. 

Why do we recommend this kit? It's easy to do, yet satisfying. The results are fun and whimsical, and children learn a little about gardening and taking care of plants. 

[For more information, or to buy: Grow A Lorax Garden at Amazon.com]

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat
The Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss
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February 2003/Updated July 2003/Updated March 2004
 

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