Dr. Seuss’s ABC

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Published 1963 by Random House Publishing

ABOUT:

Right away, on the title page, we meet two little yellow creatures, one bigger than the other one suggesting an older sibling/younger sibling relationship. They are similar to the siblings in Hop on Pop, but less bear like with longer floppy ears.

They take us through the alphabet showing us the capitalized version and the lowercase version of each letter and then they ask what words start with that letter.

“BIG         A
little         a
What begins with A?”

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After we are shown what each letter looks like we are then told what words start with that letter. Seuss usually uses a person’s name to start and then goes into other nouns. He quickly adds in verbs and adjectives so that complete sentences are formed. This isn’t simply A is for apple. Seuss creates crazy and silly situations that attract kids and keep them flipping pages. The fun images help kids make strong associations between letters and the goofy visuals.

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The two yellow siblings get more and more excited as they go through the alphabet and the sentence structure gets more complicated. We quickly get to a page of them yelling A through Y. The page ends with “and….” making readers anxious and excited to flip to the next page, and it is not disappointing.  There is a giant Z in a massive blue explosion like “WHAM” or “POW” in a comic book.

Up until this point Seuss has stuck to real creatures, a bear, a rhinoceros, an owl, etc. But for Z he lets his imagination loose and answers the question, “What begins with Z?” with,

“I do.
I am a
Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz
as you can
plainly see.”

As if it’s completely ordinary. The end.

Zizzer_Zazzer_Zuzz_by_the_jc_monster

HISTORY:

Like all other Beginner Books there is no dedication. I think it is interesting to note that it is not Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s, there is no ” ‘s ” after ABC. Also, this is the second book to have “Dr. Seuss’s” at the beginning of the title (the first was Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book.)

Considering one of Seuss’s main goals with his books was to make children WANT to read, it is not surprising that he has more than one book that explains the alphabet in a fun way. On Beyond Zebra, published in 1955, was his first children’s book focused on the alphabet. Dr. Seuss’s ABC is significantly more popular and was published eight years later. He also included the alphabet with little cats A through Z, which popped out of the cat in the hat’s hat in The Cat in The Hat Comes Back.

I have mentioned before that Seuss liked to include inappropriate words in his drafts to make sure his publisher was paying attention. In one version of this book he included an illustration of a large-breasted woman with this verse:

“Big X, little x. X, X, X.
Someday, kiddies, you will learn about SEX.”

Seuss explained, “The first draft of all my stuff is written completely for adults. To keep the story going, to keep in the swing, I’ll write swear words and dirty words and everything else –ending up with an adult piece of writing that children could comprehend. Then I go back and clean up, have a little fun with it.”

Seuss used Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink and Purple in this book. He also uses gray which he had not previously done in such large amounts. The text itself has color to emphasize certain moments such as “BIG” and “little.”

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The original title is covered with imaginary animals that do not appear in the actual book. A later edition with the “Bright and Early” logo added “An Amazing Alphabet Book!” at the bottom, which seems redundant and unnecessary.

The candy-cane-binder edition decided to include creatures that are not only real animals, but are also actually used in the book. While I am always a fan of the original cover, this change makes the most sense out of some of the random cover changes that  have been made for other books.

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 I do, however, think it’s funny that the camel they use on the cover is actually upside down in the book.

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FAVORITE QUOTE:

“BIG J
little j

What begins with j?

Jerry Jordan’s
jelly jar
and jam
begin that way.”

My name starts with J and my initials are JAR. I also have a brother named Jerry and a brother named Jordan so I am automatically biased to like the J page the most.

FAVORITE IMAGE:

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I really enjoy the Russian doll style of this image. Just very silly.

Thanks for reading,

Jack St.Rebor

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8 comments on “Dr. Seuss’s ABC

  1. X may be quite excellent
    for naughty grown-up jokes,
    but excuse me if I can’t believe
    that sexy vixen hoax!

  2. Matt Walton says:

    I Guess This Should Have What Begins With D? 2 Make it Perfect, & We Gonna Call it An All NEW! Amazing Alphabet Book! Recreated By Rebecca Or-NA Lick, & Adapted From The Original Bright/Early Board Book Version in 1991, & 1996

  3. Matt Walton says:

    Same From The Original Video in 1989 Plus Newer Illustrations: Lots of Them, & Including O……………….o………………………………………..O 4 Adapting it From The Original Bright/Early Board Book Edition! Making This Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book into An All New! Amazing Alphabet Book!

  4. Matt walton says:

    Well in A 4 Dr. Seuss Bright/Early Board Book Set.

  5. Matt walton says:

    But I think The Candy Cane Binder edition Of Dr. Seuss’s ABC Needs More Work. Inorder 2 Make it into An All new Amazing Alphabet book.

  6. Matt Walton says:

    Starting With BIG A, little a & Ending 2 Big Z little z.

  7. Matt Walton says:

    So 4 The Board Book Edition Let’s Make That Into An All New Amazing Alphabet Book With Additional Pages.

  8. Vanna says:

    Just bought a small copy from Barnes and Noble for my grandson….VERY DISAPPOINTED that the rhymes have been amended…Isn’t this against the law???

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