The kids are making new things at the Morean Art Center. I think the summer programs have started, and I’m hoping that means I get to see different things every Saturday I go there for my writing class. ( Is it a writing class? I don’t know – I learn new things every time I go, so I think it is.) This week their work was inspired by Dr. Suess. I’ve heard that Dr. Suess didn’t really like kids. I don’t believe that’s true, I don’t think I could love Yertle the Turtle as much as I did as a child if the man that wrote it didn’t have some kind of love for children. Was he intimidated by them? I get that. I don’t have kids, and have very little exposure to them, and yeah sometimes they are a little scary. They are a bit wild, untamed and that can be as frightening as it is beautiful.
What I like about Dr. Suess is how subversive he was. Horton Hears A Who? Yeah, that’s about how America needed to support a post-war Japan. Theodor Geisel, or beloved Dr. Suess, was very, shall we say ANTI on Japan till he made a visit to the country that changed his heart.
Yertle the Turtle? Yeah, Yertle is Hitler. The last lines of the book, “And the turtles, of course …all the turtles are free. As turtles, and maybe, all creatures should be.” The maybe is in there on purpose because he wanted his young readers to think “OF COURSE all creatures should be free!” Also when Mack, the turtle on the bottom, burps – it was the first time a burp was referenced in a children’s book. Very. Big. Deal.
His messages for adults weren’t always so hidden.
WOW. I don’t think I really have to say anything
And here’s something interesting, Becks, we might have this book to thank for having one of the greatest writers in children’s literature.
His 4th book about the Seven Lady Godivas, obviously for adults was a flop, and that is probably influenced him to stick to children’s books.
The girls were always naked because they were themselves and felt no need to hide it. Something I think is a good lesson for all of us.