Wednesday, June 9, 2010

God Bless Dr. Seuss

In February, after working through about four months of reading lessons with Matthew (a few times/week), I remember driving to the pet store where Matthew would soon celebrate his sixth birthday.  As we approached the strip mall where the pet store was located, Matthew had a great moment.  He pointed to a store some distance away, and announced that we needed to go there, because that was the Petland store.  He was right.  My baby had just read his first sign!  Since then, he's gradually been coming a long way.  I have been increasingly thankful for Dr. Seuss in the past couple of months because Matthew is very drawn to them.  The deal we have is that I never, ever, read Dr. Seuss to him - those are books that only he me.  A couple of weeks ago, I came downstairs one morning a few minutes after Matthew, and here's what I saw...him reading The Cat in the Hat.

I must say that it is a real joy to watch one's child learn to read.  It's hard work to learn to read!  Though Matthew's attention is usually short-lived (probably because it still takes effort to read a single page), I notice that with every page he completes, reading gets just a wee bit easier.  So, for his memory's sake, here's the content of the book he's just now's a lovely book.

The Cat In the Hat

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.

I sat there with Sally.
We sat there, we two.
And I said, "How I wish
We had something to do!"

Too wet to go out 
And too cold to play ball.
So we sat in the house.
We did nothing at all.

So all we could do was to 
And we did not like it.
Not one little bit.

And then something went BUMP!
How that bump made us jump!
We looked!
Then we saw him step in on the mat!
We looked!
And we saw him!
The Cat in the Hat!
And he said to us, 
"Why do you sit there like that?"

"I know it is wet
And the sun is not sunny.
But we can have 
Lots of good fun that is funny!
I know some good games we could play,"
Said the cat.
"I know some new tricks,"
Said the Cat in the Hat.
"A lot of good tricks.
I will show them to you.
Your mother 
Will not mind at all if I do."

Then Sally and I
Did not know what to say.
Our mother was out of the house
For the day.

But our fish said, "No! No!
Make that cat go away!
Tell that Cat in the Hat
You do NOT want to play.
He should not be here.
He should not be about.
He should not be here
When your mother is out!"

"Now! Now! Have no fear.
Have no fear!" said the cat.
"My tricks are not bad,"
Said the Cat in the Hat.
"Why, we can have
Lots of good fun, if you wish, 
With a game that I call
UP-UP-UP with a fish!"

"Put me down!" said the fish.
"This is no fun at all!
Put me down!" said the fish.
"I do NOT wish to fall!"

"Have no fear!" said the cat.
"I will not let you fall.
I will hold you up high 
As I stand on a ball!
With a book on one hand
And a cup on my hat!
But that is not ALL I can do!"
Said the cat...

"Look at me!
Look at me now!" said the cat.
"With a cup and a cake
On the top of my hat.
I can hold up TWO books.
I can hold up the fish.
And a little toy ship.
And some milk on a dish.
And look!
I can hop up and down on the ball!
But that is not all.
Oh, no. 
That is not all..
Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun 
But you have to know how!
I can hold up the cup 
And the milk and the cake!
I can hold up these books!
And the fish on a rake!
I can hold the toy ship
And a little toy man.
And look! With my tail
I can hold a red fan!
I can fan with the fan
As I hop on the ball!
But that is not all.
Oh, no.
That is not all..."

That is what the cat said...
Then he fell on his head!
He came down with a bump 
From up there on the ball.
And Sally and I,
We saw ALL the things fall!
And our fish came down, too.
He fell into a pot!
He said, "Do I like this?
Oh, no! I do not.
This is not a good game,"
Said our fish as he lit.
"No, I do not like it,
Not one little bit!
Now look what you did!"
Said the fish to the cat.
"Now look at this house.
Look at this. Look at that.
You sank our toy ship,
Sank it deep in the cake.
You shook up our house
And you bent our new rake.
You SHOULD NOT be here
When our mother is not!
You get out of this house!"
Said the fish in the pot.

"But I like to be here.
Oh, I like it a lot!"
Said the Cat in the Hat
To the fish in the pot.
"I will NOT go away.
I do NOT wish to go!
And so," said the Cat in the Hat,
I will show you
Another good game that I know!"

And then he ran out.
And then, fast as a fox,
The Cat in the Hat
Came back in with a box.
A big red wood box.
It was shut with a hook.
"Now look at this trick,"
Said the cat.
"Take a look!"

Then he got up on top
With a tip of his hat. 
"I call this game FUN-IN-A-BOX,"
Said the cat.
"In this box are two things
I will show to you now.
You will like these two things,"
Said the cat with a bow.

"I will pick up the hook.
You will see something new.
Two things. And I call them
Thing One and THing Two.
These Things will not bite you.
They want to have fun."
Then, out of the box
Came Thing Two and Thing One!
And they ran to us fast.
They said, "How do you do?
Would you like to shake hands 
With Thing One and Thing Two?"

And Sally and I 
Did not know what to do.
So we had to shake hands
With Thing ONe and Thing Two.
We shook their two hands.
But our fish said, "No! No!
Those Things shoudl not be
In this house! Make them go!
They should not be here
When your mother is not!
Put them out! Put them out!"
Said the fish in the pot.

"Have no fear little fish,"
Said the Cat in the Hat.
"These Things are good Things."
And he gave them a pat.
"They are tame. Oh, so tame!
They have come here to play.
They will give you some fun
On this wet, wet, wet day!
Now, here is a game that they like,"
Said the cat.
"They like to fly kites,"
Said the Cat in the Hat.

"No! Not in the house!"
Said the fish in the pot.
"They should not fly kites
In a house! They should not.
Oh, the things they will bump!
Oh, the things they will hit!
Oh, I do not like it.
Not one little bit."

Then Sally and I
Saw them run down the hall.
We saw those two Things
Bump their kites on the wall!
Bump! Thump! Thump! Bump!
Down the wall in the hall.
Thing Two and THing ONe!
THey ran up. They ran down.
On the string of one kite
We saw Mother's new gown!
Her gown with the dots 
That are pink, white and red.
Then we saw one kite bump
On the head of her bed!
Then those THings ran about 
With big bumps, jumps and kicks
And with hops and big thumps
And all kinds of bad tricks.
And I said,
"I do NOT like the way that they play!
If Mother could see this,
Oh, what would she say!"

Then our fish said, "LOOK! LOOK!"
And our fish shook with fear.
"Your mother is on her way home!
Do you hear?
Oh, what will she do to us?
What will she say?
Oh, she will not like it
To find us this way!
So, DO something! Fast!" said the fish.
"Do you hear!
I saw her. Your mother.
Your mother is near!
So, as fast as you can,
Think of something to do.
You will have to get rid of 
Thing One and Thing Two!"

So as fast as I could, 
I went after my net.
And I said, "With my net
I can get them I bet.
I bet, with my net,
I can get those Things yet!"
Then I let down my net.
It came down with a PLOP!
And I had them. At last.
Those two Things had to stop.
Then I said to the cat,
"Now you do as I say.
You pack up those Things
And you take them away!"

"Oh dear!" said the cat.
"You did not like our game...
Oh dear.
What a shame.
What a shame.
What a shame!"

Then he shut up the Things
In the box with the hook.
And the cat went away
With a sad kind of look.

"That is good," said the fish.
"He has gone away. Yes.
But your mother will come.
She will find this big mess!
And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up.
There is no way at all!"

Who was back in the house?
Why, the cat!
"Have no fear of this mess,"
Said the Cat in the Hat.
"I always pick up all my playthings
And so...
I will show you another 
Good trick that I know!"

Then we saw him pick up
All the things that were down.
He picked up the cake,
And the rake, and the gown
And the milk, and the strings,
And the books, and the dish,
And the fan, and the cup,
And the ship, and the fish.
And he put them away.
Then he said, "That is that."
And then he was gone 
With a tip of his hat.

Then our mother came in 
And she said to us two,
"Did you have any fun?
Tell me. What did you do?"

And Sally and I did not know
What to say.
Should we tell her
The things that went on there that day?
Should we tell her about it?
Now, what SHOULD we do?
What would YOU do 
If your mother asked YOU?

* Thanks for the comment, Gwen...and yes, I DID type out the whole flippin' story...about half way through I wondered what on earth I was doing!  I somehow wanted a record for Matthew of what he's  able to read at this age...but surely there must have been a better way!


  1. DID YOU TYPE THAT WHOLE THING OUT???! Holy cannoli!

    I loved the moment when my kids suddenly realized they could read. It sure opens up lots of new doors for them when they can read all by themselves! :)

  2. I just finally ordered The Cat in the Hat for Xavier from Amazon.

  3. cute pix of matthew! hey i sent you a long rambling email :) but it bounced back at me...not sure why. do you want to drop me a line and i can try again? darci
    mhovdestad at hotmail dot com

  4. I LOVE Dr. Seuss. His books seem to have a timeless appeal for kids. My students of all ages have enjoyed Dr. Seuss, and I still enjoy it myself! I have been reading to Levi every evening and even though I know he doesn't understand the words yet, he does seem to show a preference for rythmic, rhyming books. So yay for Dr. Seuss!