With only 19 days left till Christmas, we thought we’d start intermingling reviews for ‘normal’ books with some Christmas titles. The first is a review of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr Seuss. Warning: the review does contain a spoiler.
Image courtesy of http://www.amazon.co.uk
What it’s about: The Whos make a welcome appearance in this even more fantastical version of Dickens’ Scrooge character. The Grinch hates Christmas so much that he is determined to ruin it for his excited neighbours with the help of his long-suffering dog Max and a Santa outfit. However, while his evil scheme does go to plan, the results are unexpected and the consequences make him doubt his long-held beliefs about Christmas and all its celebrations.
Holly’s review: The Grinch is great! He is funny and evil and kind. He realises that there is more to Christmas than presents – it’s about enjoying yourself no matter what happens, which is what some people think. If you don’t have presents it might not be so good but it’s still Christmas and you should still enjoy it. I like Dr Seuss’ rhymes because they are funny, like how he rhymes ‘nimbly’ and ‘chimbly’.
The illustrations are black, white and red with some green and maybe he chose them because they are Christmas colours? The drawings are bouncy and interesting and Dr Seuss’s stories are like fables but he tries to prove his point in a fun way, not a serious one. Dr Seuss is one of my favourite authors because he is funny. Most people like him I think because he is such an inspirational writer.
Sam’s review: I am always amazed how timeless books like these are. The first edition of this story was printed in 1957 and here we are, more than 50 years later, and children still love the rhymes and the characters. Dr Seuss’ world is so extraordinary that it doesn’t seem to date. You just suspend disbelief and jump right in there. Holly liked revisiting this book so much that she read it aloud to us two nights running, getting into the characters and playing with the rhymes. I felt it was quite observant of Holly to notice that this was like a fable, albeit a comical and surreal one, as the moral message is there, but in a nice, not lecturing way. Holly’s favourite rhyme – ‘nimbly’ and ‘chimbly’ is very reminiscent of Ogden Nash’s practice of playing with words to fit his rhyme scheme and Seuss does it to great effect in all his stories of course. This is a great book for children at Christmas, and perhaps slightly more accessible for younger readers or listeners than A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, though we will be looking at an abridged version of that shortly.
What’s your favourite Dr Seuss book?
What Christmas books can you recommend to us to read?