Friday, February 3

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss

The very first children's book by Dr. Seuss about a boy who is compelled to tell extravagant tales. When the mundane won't do, just what will he think up?

This is a book that every writer should read. Not only because it is the beginning of Dr. Seuss' display of creative genius in his children's stories but because it is a brilliant execution of 'What if?'

Marco is walking home on Mulberry Street, where he sees a horse pulling a wagon. He isn't satisfied with such a boring sight, so he uses his imagination to change details of what he sees. With each change his story becomes more elaborate and inventive. Just as all good storytellers should do, he asks himself, "What if this happened?" or "If I change this, what else needs to change?" but in the lyrical style of Dr. Seuss.

'And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street' is a clever analysis of how adults can stifle a child's creativity. Marco's father tells him to stop making up stories. Stories are fabrications and thus lies. Of course, one could argue that Marco only sees a horse and a wagon, so anything else he tells is a lie but I would argue that Marco does see all these fantastic things, only with his imagination. Thus, they are truths.

This is another Dr. Seuss book I was unfamiliar with or at least couldn't recall. It is a must-read for children and adults, who would do well to test the limits of their own imagination, ask 'What if?' and remember not to stunt other people's creativity.

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer borrowed this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Random House and is used solely as an aide to the review.

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