Oh, the Places You'll Go!



A jaunty, upbeat journey through wacky landscapes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

An inspirational story and a joyous look forward to the adventures of your life-- no matter what age you are.

Positive role models

Nothing but good stuff in this Dr. Seuss classic.

Violence & scariness

Some scary monsters and weird and bleak landscapes. The protagonist gets stuck in a few depressing, scary spots.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a jaunty, upbeat journey packed with wacky landscapes, buildings, monsters, and musical instruments. Even those who don't understand Dr. Seuss' message will be buoyed up and marched cheerfully along.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Our hero (a cheerful little guy in a yellow jumpsuit) receives the narrator's good wishes and heads out of town. He travels through a wide variety of colorful Seussian landscapes and cityscapes and finds himself in many different situations--some exhilarating, some depressing, some downright frightening.

At one point he gets stuck in the Waiting Place, where "everyone is just waiting ... 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 Another Chance."

At one moment our hero is riding high on an elephant's back with a triumphant banner flapping overhead. At another he's rowing a tiny rowboat through a black lagoon full of howling, long-necked Hakken-Kraks. The plucky protagonist faces up to each challenge and extricates himself from each Hang-up, Lurch, and Slump. His success is "98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed"!

Is it any good?


This is the last book Seuss wrote, so it is easy to get sentimental about it; yet it's an inspiring, poignant work on its own terms. The illustrations are a little shaky-looking compared to earlier ones, and there are one or two flaws in the rhyme's meter, but otherwise it is as beautifully crafted as anything Dr. Seuss ever wrote. And the message is clear and moving: Life can be extremely tough at times, but we will be just fine if we keep on the road and face up to each challenge as it presents itself.

Though Dr. Seuss was still alive when this book was published, some critics sensed it was his last. It does seem like a retrospective of his career: Horton-like elephants parade the hero triumphantly along, carrying flapping banners or canopies. A psychedelic interior decorated with billowy, colorful stripes resembles a circus tent, bringing back memories of If I Ran the Circus.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they enjoyed most about the book.

  • What were your favorite parts of the story?

  • Which illustrations did like most, and why?

Book details

Author:Dr. Seuss
Illustrator:Dr. Seuss
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:January 1, 1990
Number of pages:46

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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For kids who love wacky rhyms

What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008

predictable Dr. Seuss

Not his best work. Try "The Lorax" instead.
Parent of a 7 and 8 year old Written byqtnn January 11, 2009
Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 September 29, 2009

not a.....

not a great book


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