Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wacky Wednesday - Wonderful Words

My first Wacky Wednesday post.  I awoke with an image in mind:

picture an ordinary bathtub, a window over the tub with the curtains softly blowing in the breeze, and several shoes piled in front of the bathtub.  Got that?  Makes you wonder.  Did someone discard their shoes and jump in the tub, or did they leave the shoes, and jump out the window?

Shoes figured prominently in the beginning of Dr. Seuss' Wacky Wednesday:

"It all began
with that shoe on the wall.
A shoe on a wall…?
Shouldn’t be there at all!"

We celebrate Dr. Seuss in his March birthday month, but I have the rest of January and all of February to celebrate him.  I'll share some Wacky Wednesday tips that others have shared. And if there's someone who hasn't heard of Dr. Seuss (think multi-cultural, multi-ethnic -- some foreign born/raised friends and their kids haven't discovered him yet), please share his books with them.

Okay, I admit it.  I adopted my daughter just so I could read her children's books!  I didn't grow up with Dr. Seuss books, but thankfully, she did, and loves them to this day.  I grew up with fairy tales and myths and she loves those, too.  We even got Dr. Seuss books for my nephew's boys, too.  Wacky Wednesday ended up tattered from constant readings.

 Editorial Review - Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
"Now another generation of kids can enjoy the craziness that happens one Wednesday morning. Each scene shows more wacky things for kids to find and count. In the bathroom there are four—a boy showering with a sock on one foot, a fish in a bottle, an upside down faucet and best of all a palm tree growing out of the toilet. Each scene presents more wacky things until readers reach the number twelve, and then the tale leaps to twenty. At this point Patrolman McGann announces that after counting twenty items and then going to bed, Wacky Wednesday will soon be at an end. The story is of course amusing as are the illustrations. It should be plenty of fun for young kids to find out what is wrong in each of the scenes."


Here's some more about Dr. Seuss from his biography on Barnes and Noble:

Meet the Author:  Dr. Seuss

It’s difficult to imagine the children’s book landscape without Dr. Seuss, who is, almost half a century after The Cat in the Hat, the best-recognized children’s book writer in the country. But until Dr. Seuss -- a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel -- reinvented the genre with his colorful and exuberant Sneetches, Grinches, Zaxes, and Zooks, children’s books were often little more than literal-minded lessons and cautionary tales intended to transform young readers into productive citizens.

Now that generations of readers have been reared on The Cat in the Hat and Fox in Socks, it's easy to forget how colorless most children's books were before Dr. Seuss reinvented the genre. When the editorial cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1936, the book was turned down by 27 publishers, many of whom said it was "too different." Geisel was about to burn his manuscript when it was rescued and published, under the pen name Dr. Seuss, by a college classmate.

Over the next two decades, Geisel concocted such delightfully loopy tales as The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and Horton Hears a Who. Most of his books earned excellent reviews, and three received Caldecott Honor Awards. But it was the 1957 publication of The Cat in the Hat that catapulted Geisel to celebrity. 

Rudolf Flesch's book Why Johnny Can't Read, along with a related Life magazine article, had recently charged that children's primers were too pallid and bland to inspire an interest in reading. The Cat in the Hat, written with 220 words from a first-grade vocabulary list, "worked like a karate chop on the weary little world of Dick, Jane and Spot," as Ellen Goodman wrote in The Detroit Free Press. With its vivid illustrations, rhyming text and topsy-turvy plot, Geisel's book for beginning readers was anything but bland. It sold nearly a million copies within three years. (A little more next week.)

We get "wacked out" when we see things that shouldn't be.  Or pleasantly surprised like when we see garbage cans topped with flowers, when we see artwork on power boxes, when we see pleasing images that tickle our fancy and make us want more.

I wish you all a wonderful and wacky week.


  1. I thought I knew all of Dr. Seuss's books, but I hadn't heard of Wacky Wednesday before.

    1. Hi Jan, This was one that he did with another artist, so it's listed like this:
      Wacky Wednesday (Beginner Books(R)) by Theo LeSieg and George Booth (Sep 12, 1974) He used this name when he wasn't both author and illustrator. You'll notice the artwork is a little different. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Interesting...I'll look this one up myself. Thanks. Ustaaz.