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The Cat in the Hat
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that young readers will likely side with the fun-crazed Cat and his sidekicks, not the guilt-tripping goldfish who serves as the voice of reason. The book's colorful illustrations capture the Cat's exuberant spirit and match the rapid-fire rhyming text, which will likely encourage multiple readings.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Two children are moping indoors on a rainy day when in strolls the Cat in the Hat. Making one of the most unforgettable entrances in the history of children's literature, the lanky feline, stylishly dressed in a candy-striped stovepipe hat and oversized bow tie, creates a whirlwind of misbehavior that the kids are at first powerless to halt.
Is it any good?
This is a must-read classic for every child.
In response to a pivotal Life magazine article titled "Why Johnny Can't Read," children's author Theodor S. Geisel -- aka Dr. Seuss -- spent over a year shuffling what must have seemed like a meager assortment of words, polishing and polishing, until he produced THE CAT IN THE HAT. And when the Cat strode into primary classrooms, boring old Puff and Spot slunk out forever.
The Cat is almost amoral: He traipses into the house, juggles possessions, and invites his odd pals to help him trash the place. (That's why the children's grumpy goldfish, a self-appointed baby-sitter/morality czar, is a perfect foil for the mischievous Cat.) That said, the Cat is hardly shameless. After the boy finally asserts himself and orders the fun-loving feline to "pack up those Things" and hit the road, the Cat is the picture of remorse -- even his whiskers and bow tie droop.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Dr. Seuss's unique use of language and can even use the book to introduce the concept of rhyming.
How many sets of rhyming words can you find in the text?
Do you notice any kind of pattern with rhyming pairs? Parents can also reinforce the real-life ramifications of the Cat's crazy behavior.
Do you think the children will be honest with their mother about what actually happened in the house that day?