On Beyond Zebra!

Common Sense Media says

Mischievous, mind-expanding verbal high jinks.





What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the story plays second fiddle to the verse, which is a wry bit of nonsense.

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What's the story?

As Dr. Seuss explains it, Z is a good letter, yes indeed--but so is YUZZ, which comes after Z, you see. And WUM and UM and THNAD and FLUNN, which come after YUZZ. More mischievous and mind-expanding verbal high jinks--and fabulous fictional creatures--from the master.

Is it any good?


Here is a lightening agent for the difficult work of learning the alphabet, both a gust of humor and a cautionary tale that we ought to be thankful only 26 letters constitute our alphabet. Readers can dig and dig in this book. The youngest can simply delight in having the loopy verse read to them while they scan the wild images. Older readers can have fun reading the words with brio and dash, accelerating up through those Nutches in their Nitches.

And before you read Dr. Seuss' pronunciation, you can decipher for yourself the sound of the new letter by the blend of letters Seuss has used in its making. A 4-year-old came up with "mushy" for Seuss's JOGG and "goo-goo" for UM, which when substituted into the text did a job on the rhyme scheme but made the verse gratifyingly his own -- an act of cultural appropriation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about different alphabets. Introduce the idea that different languages have different alphabets. Try coming up with some letters for your own alphabet.

Book details

Author:Dr. Seuss
Illustrator:Dr. Seuss
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:September 12, 1955
Number of pages:58
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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