Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


Published in 1990 by Random House

Review by Booklist:

“Writers often tend to mellow in their later years, but fortunately Dr. Seuss seems just as cantankerous and quirky as ever. Life may be a ‘Great Balancing act’ but through it all ‘there’s fun to be done.'”

Review by Gannett News Service:

“Rangy, wise and wonderfully witty…This may well be a summing up on his part, his farewell with a flourish.”


little-boyOh, the Places You’ll Go begins with “Congratulations!” It is a celebration of accomplishment and exciting things to come. The first illustration is on an all white page with only a small young boy dressed in yellow walking confidently forward towards the next page. He is described only as “you.” For the next several pages he is always seen headed to the right, steadily approaching his future.

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

dsc_0009Our hero decides not to go down some “not-so-good streets.” In fact, he doesn’t like any of the streets around him so he heads straight out of town where:

“It’s opener there
in the wide open air.”


Then things start to become a bit more Seussian! Our hero starts to approach strange new places with Horton-looking elephants. He is, once again, headed toward the next page with a confident steady stride.

“Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.”

The next spread of pages grabs the reader’s attention with bold solid stripes taking over the pages in bright colors! For the first time we see our hero with his back to us, looking in wonder just as the reader is. ohtheplacesyoullgo_ipad_screen1large-642x481

“You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.”


Soon our hero is in the lead with all the other balloons close behind. The hills are colorful square patches rolling off into the distance. Then Seuss slams on the breaks. Our hero’s balloon is stuck on a branch and he’s watching everyone else fly by, leaving him behind with a look of surprise on his face. The hills are now a somber blue.

places“You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.”

Then the background gets dark and squiggly! Our hero is on the ground, still moving forward, but much more hesitantly. His surroundings are lumpy and droopy in dull blues and purples.

“And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.”

Things become even stranger and more unfamiliar to our hero. He is presented with a mishmash of curvy arches and doorways in different colors. None of them are marked and there are no clear paths.hqdefaultOur hero chooses a direction, but he runs down it at full speed and becomes even more lost in an even stranger place. Then he arrives at The Waiting Place where everything is stagnant because it is a place…

“…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
Or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or a Another Change.
Everyone is just waiting.”

waitingSomehow our hero breaks free! The next page is colorful again and big and loud! There are several strange musical instruments all being played at full blast!

oh-the-places-you-ll-go-dr-seuss-screenshot-3“Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.”

Then the elephants are back in full numbers with banners held high. Our hero sits on one of their heads once again confidently heading towards the future!

imagesHe plays wild Seussian sports with crazy nets and hoops and other players popping up out of the ground!

“Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.”

“Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

Now our hero plays alone with a single ball and an old tattered hoop. He is on a crazy, rickety, old Seussian-structured house. The colors are dull and our hero has no smile.

“I’m afraid that sometimes
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.”

Once again, our hero has his back to us as he faces another strange archway, but now it’s much darker and ominous with large eyes staring at him and Tim Burton like trees on a flat landscape.pg3

“All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”

Now for the first time our hero is facing back towards the rest of the book rather than forward toward the next page. He is in a small row boat on endless dark waters with only large wailing creatures around him. The blue of the water is heavily contrasted by the large orange cave on the next page. Our hero now pats a vicious looking creature on the nose. He is back to facing what is coming.


“On and on you will hike.
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.”

Then our hero is seen in a crazy mess of birds walking on each others’ heads. Each row alternates going left and then right. All the ones going forward toward the right have smiles on their faces with their beaks held high. The birds going back toward the left are depressed with slumping posture. Our hero is turned around yet again and headed backwards. (Image can be seen in the HISTORY section of this post.)

“You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
Step with great care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act. “

Our hero gets facing the right direction again at the very tip of the bottom right corner ready to take on any challenge. He is pulling a rope with a great mountain on wheels trailing behind him.oh-the-places-youll-go-dr-seuss.jpg?w=620

“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


The final page ends just as the beginning started. With our hero in the exact same pose on an all white page confidently headed toward the future.

“Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”


The Morgan and Morgan biography describes this book as:

“A collection of scattered ideas tied together with the theme of hope.’

I couldn’t help but comment on the main character’s position on the page in relation to the rest of his surrounding. In the summary above I constantly refer to him facing toward the right. I think this was a very intentional choice on Seuss’ part. We read left to right so having the main character headed toward the right keeps the flow of the story moving so that we are excited to see where he ends up when we turn the page.


The few moments that he is not turned to the right make those pages all the more powerful. When his back is turned to us we, as readers, spend a little extra time marveling at the rest of the page as he does. When he is facing backward toward the left we hesitate to turn the page in case we lose him forcing us to spend a somber moment reflecting.

Reading Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is like climbing into a car with Seuss behind the wheel. He drives the story forwards, slows it down, speeds it back up, and even slams on the breaks. This is done not only through the physical position of the hero, but also by the rhythm of his poetry, as well as, with color theory and line movement.

It can definitely be said that Seuss does this in all of his books. His ability to manipulate the reader’s emotion into not only wanting, but needing to flip the page is why he is such a successful writer. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is merely a culmination of all his tricks of story telling.

We can see his use of color theory in the contrast between the gloomy dark blues and purples he uses when the hero is lost compared to the bright orange cave when he is ready to face up to his challenges. We see it again when there are soft pastels filling out the page as he heads gleefully toward his future in a hot air balloon, but then the page is almost void of color as he gets hung up on a bare black tree with only deep blue hills below him.


Through all of these aspects of story telling Seuss plays with our heartstrings in a way that reaches children as well as adults of any age. This story is a heartfelt adventure that each of us goes through as a human being and also one that we go through several times in our lives. Whether we go to a new school or a new job or move to a new city, every time an aspect of our lives changes we go through this story in some way. We try, we succeed, we lead, we follow, we fail, we wait, we try again. This repetition in our own lives makes this a book worth reading over and over.


It seems odd, but there is no dedication. Very few of Seuss’ “big books” do not have a dedication. I like to think it is because this book is dedicated to himself and all of his previous work as a whole.

Seuss explained the title by saying:

‘When I went to college it was a campy thing to say ‘Oh, the places you’ll go! The people you’ll meet!'”

When Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was published it went straight to the top of New York Times’ adult best-seller list and stayed on it for two years. Seuss said,

“This proves it! I no longer write for children I write for people!”

Jim Henson made an appointment with Seuss to make a video adaptation of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, but Henson died two days before they were supposed to meet. He was fifty-three years old.

Seuss also made plans with Tri-Star Productions to turn it into a full length feature film. Although it was never realized he did start to write extra material including this song:

“Searching deep in darkened places,
Reaching into vacant spaces,
I touch only shadow faces…
Where are you?
Empty caves in endless mountains,
Dusty, dry, deserted fountains…
Pathless, groping, I move hoping
Where are you?
Past songless birds on leafless trees
Cross waveless oceans, silent seas
Through fumbling nights that find no day,
I move and try to find my way…”

In 1975 Dr. Seuss wrote a verse for the New York Times entitled The Economic Situation Clarified: A prognostic re-evaluation.

“As our graph shows. Trends are trending.
This is good. Yet, nevertheless,
the destination of the trendings
is not simple to assess.

As of now, the Uppers are upping
and the Downers are droobling down
excepting on alternate Thursdays
when it works the other way round.

And there occasionally are occasions
when some Upper comes a cropper
and bottoms out at the bottom.
some Bottomer is the Topper.

Consequently, on the other hand,
I believe this can be said:
you’ll be wise if you step gently
whilst you tread on your neighbor’s head.”

A footnote at the bottom of the verse reads:

“Dr. Seuss — whose grown-up name is Theodor Seuss Geisel — says it has been 17 years since he last addressed himself to adults, and does so now because he is “plain worried about the economy.”

Seuss drew the image below on the left for that verse. The image on the right is from Oh, The Places You’ll Go! published fifteen years later. It seems Seuss used the exact same image, but replaced one of the birds with our hero and added some color.

econ_lg   l856173948

Even before the Economic Situation Clarified Seuss had characters walking on each others’ heads. The following image is from If I Ran the Circus which was published in 1956, thirty-four years before Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

photos089The newer cover bugs me, as usual, because it uses an image from the inside of the book rather than the original cover’s image. The original image of “you” on top of a rainbow cone-shaped mountain (seen at the top of this post) is not found anywhere else in the book so when it is taken off of the cover it is basically a piece of art just completely removed from the story!

oh_the_places_you_ll_goFAVORITE QUOTE:

“Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you. “

This quote breaks my heart every time I read it. I’m all teary-eyed just typing it out. It is so beautifully honest and something that we need to hear and accept more often as we grow up, so that it isn’t quite so shocking when it inevitably happens. If we are prepared for it then we can accept it and move forward.


My favorite image is definitely The Waiting Place. It’s like a Where’s Waldo page of depression. I love all the detail and I don’t think there is any other page in all of Dr. Seuss’ work that has so many human figures in Seussian style.

The Waiting Place

Thanks for reading,
Jack St. Rebor



I was hoping to put up my final post about Oh, the Places You’ll Go! today as a way of saying Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss, but it’s important to me that I don’t rush it, because it is such a wonderful book and I have a lot to say about it and a lot of history to include.

So, that post will be coming soon! In the mean time here are a bunch of my favorite quotes from the wonderful Dr. Seuss and some of his personal art that was not included in his children’s books.





HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DR. SEUSS! The images are in The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss as well as The Cat Behind the Hat. The quotes are from various books as well as interviews with Seuss. Take some time to pick up a Seuss book and read it out loud to a child or even just to yourself! Celebrate creativity, youth, and imagination!

Thanks for reading,
Jack St. Rebor

Don't cry because it's over smile because it happened

Hunches in Bunches


Published 1982 by Random House


The story opens with a young boy sitting and twiddling his fingers trying to think of what to do. He has the fidgets and can’t make up his mind.

“It’s awfully awfully awful
when you can’t make up your mind!”

hunch01He starts to list the many things that he could do, like play football or go skating or climb a tree. He calls all of these things hunches, but he gets so many hunches that he doesn’t want to pick one and find out that it’s the wrong one.

On the next page, and for the rest of the story, each hunch takes on a physical appearance. They’re all different looking humanoid-Seussian-creatures and they all have big glove-like fuzzy hats on their heads.

The first hunch to appear is a Happy Hunch that tries to lead him outside to play, but then a Homework Hunch rolls in and tells him he can’t play outside. Luckily, a Better Hunch comes along and hanks the hat off of the Homework Hunch.

Just as he’s about to go off with the Better Hunch a Sour Hunch tells him his bike is rusting and he needs to go oil it. Then a Very Odd Hunch asks him if he needs to go to the bathroom.


Then an unseen Hunch says,

“‘That mind of yours,’ I heard him say,
‘is frightfully ga-flupped.
Your mind is murky-mooshy!
Will you make it up? Or won’t you?
If you won’t, you are a wonter!
Do you understand? Or don’t you?
If you don’t, you are a donter.
You’re a canter if you can’t.
I would really like to help you.
But you’re hopeless. So I shan’t.”

Next a Spookish Hunch shows up pointing four different ways, but our hero is smart enough not to follow that hunch, because he knows if he does he will probably end up on an dead-end road in West Gee-Hossa-Flat!

He avoids the Four-Way Hunch, but quickly falls into the trap off following a Nowhere Hunch.

“Everybody sometimes does it.
Even me. And even you.
I followed him in circles
till we wore the rug right through.”

Luckily, an Up Hunch blows by and tells him to stop going around and try going up! So our hero follows the Up hunch into some fresh air, but when he gets to the top he is met by a Down Hunch that tells him never to trust an Up Hunch and instead to go back down. When he goes back down he is surrounded by all different kinds of Wild hunches throwing, “crunchy hunchy punches.”


Then a Super Hunch yells,

“Make up your mind! Get it done!
Only you can make your mind up! You’re the one and only one!”

Our hero realizes that he alone can’t make up his mind. To get it done it’ll take two of him! Or maybe even three or four! It actually takes even more of him. They all yell and shove and talk all of the hunches over until they decide what to do.

Finally, he decides to follow a Munch Hunch and goes to the kitchen to have six hot dogs for lunch.


Hunches in Bunches is the first big book in 9 years since Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are. The illustrations are stronger and feel more classic; there are different patterns on each individual hunches clothing, the stairs that the Up Hunch takes are perfectly and precariously placed. It is also the only Big book without a dedication.

It was strange to read the words “video games” in a Dr. Seuss book, but it is his first book written in the 80s. Hand shapes on hats have been seen before in the only live action Dr. Seuss movie made in his life time called The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (not based on a book.)

The message of the book is to kids (video games vs homework, going down town with a friend vs a parental voice telling you to go to the bathroom) but, like all Dr. Seuss books, the message is still relevant to adults. It can be more specifically applied to people in their 20s and 30s trying to decide what direction to go in their lives, but we all have Dead-End Hunches, Up Hunches, Down Hunches etc. The ending brings us back to the child-like thought of just simply going to get something to eat. It is unexpected after a long build up, but it is something we can all relate to (we all need to eat and take a break from deciding what we’re doing all the time. )



I think this quote sums up the main message of the book. We all have scattered thoughts sometimes and can’t decide what to do, but no one can make up our minds for us.

“‘That mind of yours,’ I heard him say,
‘is frightfully ga-flupped.
Your mind is murky-mooshy!
Will you make it up? Or won’t you?
If you won’t, you are a wonter!
Do you understand? Or don’t you?
If you don’t, you are a donter.
You’re a canter if you can’t.
I would really like to help you.
But you’re hopeless. So I shan’t.”


I love this perilous looking stack of stone steps. Perfect example of Seussian structure.


Thanks for reading,

Jack St.Rebor

I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!


Published in 1978 by Random House


I Can Read With My Eye’s Shut is narrated by that delightfully mischievous Cat in the Hat, but he is being very educational, while still whimsical, in this particular book.

He starts out simply by saying,

“I can read
in red.

I can read
in blue.

I can read in
pickle color

He continues to name different ways he can read, including in a circle and upside down.


Then he states that he can read Mississippi even with his eyes shut! Not only Mississippi but Indianapolis and Hallelujah, too! We quickly learn that reading with his eyes shut makes the Cat in the Hat’s eyebrows get read hot and that it frizzles out his hat.


He points out that when you read with your eyes open you can read much faster.

“And when I keep them open
I can read with much more speed.
You have to be a speedy reader
’cause there’s so, so much to read!”

Then he starts to list the things you can read about, like trees, and bees and knees! Or a combination of these words. You can also read about anchors and ants and crocodile pants!

“Young cat! If you keep
your eyes open enough,
oh, the stuff you will learn!
The most wonderful stuff!”

Even more things you can learn about are fishbones, and wishbones, and trombones! Then of course Seuss adds in some more made up creatures like Foo-Foo the Snoo.

Dr Seuss Foo Foo the Snoo I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

“There are
so many things
you can learn about.
BUT…you’ll miss
the best things
if you keep
your eyes shut.”

Then to make reading and learning even more wonderful The Cat in the Hat points out the many places you’ll go and things you can learn.


“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”

You can learn how to make money, or donuts or kangaroo collars. You can learn to play the Hut-Zut (but only with your eyes open.) The full page spread is of signs pointing all different directions with all different kinds of locations (including Oz). He leaves the reader with this last note:

that’s why I tell you
to keep your eyes wide.
Keep them wide open…
at least on one side.

The final image is of The Cat in the Hat and the young cat sharing a book, winking at each other.


Unlike most Beginner Books there is actually a dedication that reads:

David Worthen, E.G.*
*(Eye Guy)

As I’ve stated in the other recent post, Seuss was having eye sight issues which was the cause for his scratching drawings and why he made so many Beginner Books in a row rather than any larger books. With this in mind he wrote a book about reading and what you miss out on if you read with your eyes shut. The dedication is to his ophthalmologist.

The second to last page has lots and lots of signs leading all different directions. One of the signs says:

Curtis A. Abel”

This is a reference to one of Ted’s many friends from Oxford that he added in just for fun.

The newer cover is surprisingly similar to the older cover. It is still a yellow background and The Cat in the Hat reading a green book with his eyes closed while the young cat looks on with his eyes open. The newer one just has a bit more motion to it because they’re walking.



My favorite image is actually the first page. Including the text, I just think it’s a great layout and super fun and I love the silly glasses.

I can read with my eyes shut 2


“You can learn about SAD…
and GLAD…
and MAD!”

I really enjoy that Seuss not only includes objects you can learn about, and jobs you can learn about, but that he also includes emotions. So much of the reading children do is educational and instructional, it’s nice to remind young readers that you can also learn about people and your own emotions through reading.

Thanks for reading (with your eyes open),

Jack St.Rebor

Did I Ever Tell You How LUCKY YOU ARE?


Published 1973 by Random House Inc.


The story is narrated by a character named Duckie that used to visit an old man in the Desert of Drize when he was a young boy. The old man sat on top of a prickly cactus, but had a big smile on his face. He would sing a song to Duckie about just how lucky Duckie is. The song is the rest of the story. There is no music set to it and it is read like most other Seuss books; just full of great rhymes and roll-off-the-tongue rhythm.

“When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!

Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!”

From there the old man gives lots of examples of people that are much more unlucky than Duckie aka “you.” Throughout the examples the images are very important to the explanation of why they are so unlucky. The first image is of several men in uniform working on a Seussian bridge that is pure chaos. There are ladders everywhere and boards/bricks/nails being lifted every which way. There is a crane and a pulley, as well as a man standing on another man’s shoulders holding up the bulk of the bridge. It’s a great image and keeps the reader’s attention for much longer than it takes to read the text.

The next few pages follow the same pattern of massive chaotic images that spread across the page and explain why the people depicted are much more unlucky than “you”.

After that we get a few pages that are a little calmer on the eyes. One is a huge green field with a small boy named Ali Sard who has to mow his uncle’s backyard. The grass grows as he mows it and he gets paid barely anything to do it! So, on Sundays he paints flagpoles dangerously high of the ground just to pick up extra cash.


There is also the Bee-Watcher in Hawtch-Hawtch. The bee works harder when it’s being watched so there is a Bee-Watcher to stand by and stare at the bee to make sure it works harder. When the bee starts to slack people in Hawtch-Hawtch think the Bee-Watcher should be watched to make him work harder. This continues creating a huge line of Hawtch-Watchers!

Then we see some ominous lonely pages with lots of arches and darker colors. In each of these we see someone or something that is alone or left behind. First, there is Gucky Gown who lives by himself in the rundown Ruins of Ronk. Then there is a left sock that was left behind in the Kaverns of Krock with only a mouse staring on. Lastly there is a hanger hooked onto an otherwise empty line spread between two high cliff tops with a winding river disappearing into the distance. This ends the examples the old man gives.

He sums up by saying:

“That’s why I say, “Duckie!
Don’t grumble! Don’t stew!
Some critters are much-much,
oh, ever so much-much
so muchly much-much more unlucky than you!”

And the boy joins the old man on a prickly cactus with a big smile on his face.



This book is very unique in the sense that barely any of the unluckiness is actually explained in the text. The text is rather simple and not very descriptive, like:

“And the Brothers Ba-zoo.
The poor Brothers Ba-zoo!
Suppose your hair grew
like theirs happened to do!
You think you’re unlucky…?
I’m telling you, Duckie,
some people are muchly,
oh, ever so muchly,
muchly more-more-more unlucky than you!”

The image that goes with it shows an endless line of old men whose beards become the man in front of them’s hair. This means, that they are all connected by a long line of hair/beard that is only broken up by their faces. The text itself would not leave much of an impression of why the Brothers Ba-zoo are unlucky, but it leads the reader to look at the image for an explanation. This makes the book a GREAT book to read out loud to a class of young students. The teacher reads the text which peaks the audience’s interest. Then the teacher turns the book to reveal the amazingly, fully-colored, full-spread images so that the students lean in because they have been anticipating why the Brother Ba-zoo are so unlucky.

tellseuss12 15271309_o1

The images go from chaotic and full of busyness to empty, lonely spreads. This also helps with reading to children, because it grabs their attention early on and then winds them down as the book comes to a close. The last two examples are of inanimate objects that are unlucky, where as, the rest of the book gives examples of people that are unlucky. I find this very interesting, but have not been able to connect it to any philosophy that Seuss may have been trying to symbolize.


The connected beards from the Brothers Ba-zoo page are a common theme in Seuss’ previous work. In his short term comic called Hejji there are two goats connected by a beard. In his feature length live-action film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T there are two roller-skating guards also connected by a beard. Even in his political cartoons he depicts “Nazism” and “the America First Movement” as “The men with the Siamese Beard.”

jy7s7  hejji-1

As you can see in the images in this post, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? is printed in full color. In The Lorax, which was printed just prior to this book, there is also full color. At first it feels like there is some aspect of Seussian art missing in these books, because they are not the usual yellow, red and teal of the bulk of his work. In The Lorax, color is so important to the feel of “clean” versus “polluted” and by this point Seuss was so popular that Random House could afford to publish his books in full color. The feeling of “busyness” versus “loneliness” in Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? is furthered by the use of color. At the beginning there are lots of different colors used in tiny detailed spaces, where as, at the end of the book there are large expanses of empty space and solid color. Not only the amount of colors, but also the shade/tone of the colors helps set the mood for each particular page. It makes one wonder how different his earlier books would feel if they were printed in full color, but that is best left untampered with.

The dedication is very personalized. It is in a font meant to look like handwriting and has an adorable little smiling bird-creature accompanying the words:

“This Book,
With Love,
is for
the Jackson”

Phyllis Jackson was Seuss’ longtime agent of over 30 years. She died suddenly of cardiac arrest four years after this dedication in March of 1977. Seuss was shocked by her death and did little more than sit in a chair for three days after he heard of it. He attempted to make peace with his grief by writing a short verse titled “How Long Is Long” and dedicated it to her “with all my love.”

How Long Is Long?

“I’ll be seein’ ya,” I said.
And I said, “So long!”
When you say So Long
it’s not usually too long…
But sometimes
So Long
is forever.
So Long,
I guess I won’t be seein’ ya.”



This image is so fun! It’s like a Where’s Waldo book; so much to see! I love the guy poking the other guy with his cane!


“Think they work you too hard…?
Think of poor Ali Sard!
He has to mow grass in his uncle’s back yard
and it’s quick-growing grass
and it grows as he mows it.
The faster he mows it, the faster he grows it.
And all that his stingy old uncle will pay
for his shoving that mower around in that hay
is the piffulous pay of two Dooklas a day.
And Ali can’t live on such piffulous pay!”

I really enjoy the rhythm and the rhyme of “mows it” and “grows it”. The combination of “piffulous pay” is also just super fun. My mouth just enjoyed reading this quote the most.

Thanks for reading,

Jack St.Rebor



Published 1968 by Random House


This book is short enough that I can actually just type out the entire thing here.


 “Left foot, Left foot
Right foot, Right.
Feet in the morning.
Feet at night.
Left foot, Left foot, Left foot, Right.
Wet foot, Dry foot.
High foot, Low foot.

Front feet, Back feet.
Red feet, Black feet.
Left foot, Right foot.
Feet, Feet, Feet.
How many, many
feet you meet.

Slow feet, Quick feet.
Trick feet, Sick feet.
Up feet, Down feet.
Here come clown feet.
Small feet, Big feet.
Here come pig feet.
His feet, Her feet.
Fuzzy fur feet.

In the house,
and on the street
how many, many
feet you meet.
Up in the air feet,
Over a chair feet.
More and more feet
Twenty-four feet
Here come
more and more…………..
……….and more feet!
Left foot. Right foot.
Feet. Feet. Feet.
Oh, how many
feet you meet!”


There is no dedication. This is the first book that Seuss wrote after his first wife, Helen’s, death and before he married his second wife, Audrey. It was written in the winter of 1967 while he was dealing with the financial and business gaps that Helen’s death left behind, and while Audrey divorced her first husband so she could marry Seuss.


This is also the first of the Bright and Early Books which were written for a “pre-reader” audience. It has even less words than Cat in the Hat which was written on a bet that Seuss couldn’t use only 50 words to write a book. He won the bet for Cat in the Hat and in this book used only 46 words total (including small words like a, the, and, at, etc.) If you omit the small words he used only 34 vocabulary words!

The Bright an Early Board Book cover adds the quote “Dr. Seuss’s Wacky Book of Opposites”, which is true for the most part and is most likely simplified on the inside to only include the parts that are opposites like “up feet, down feet,” and “wet foot, dry foot,” etc. The board books cut out chunks of the stories so it probably doesn’t have moments like “here come clown feet” or “fuzzy fur feet.” They also chose to make the colors on he book opposite to what they original were, with a green back ground and white text instead of the other way around.

The candy-cane spine cover went for a completely different look with the “front feet, back feet” creature instead of our narrator that we see start and end the book on the inside.

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This isn’t quite the full page, but I really enjoy the image of lots and lots of feet crossing the pages toward the narrator. Very fun and colorful.

foot book


“In the house,
and on the street,

How many, many
feet you meet.”

The purpose of the book is to teach very young children very simple vocabulary, but I like the idea of a subtle message suggesting that the feet represent the different types of people we meet in life and how they’re all interesting and worth learning about.

Thanks for reading,

Jack St.Rebor