Hooper Humperdink…? NOT HIM!










New version:  Illustrated by Scott Nash (2006) 









Old version:  Illustrated by Charles E. Martin (1976)

Okay, I just rediscovered my love for this book.  It’s funny, I had completely forgotten about it until I started looking for titles to read for storytimes during the week before Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2.  As soon as I saw the title, I remembered it, even though the copy that my library has is illustrated by a different person.  As I began flipping through the pages, exact phrases came back to me like old friends.  I remember a particular fondness for “I’ll have to order more ice cream!  I’ll need about ten tons, I think.  But NONE for Hooper Humperdink!”  Ten tons of ice cream?  How that must have captured my imagination as a child!

It’s funny how reading the same book during different phases of your life can change your interpretation of it.  As a child, I remember loving this story.  In fact, I think it was one of my favorites.  Now, of course, I feel sorry for Hooper (for those who aren’t aware, the entire book is about the speaker throwing a party and inviting friends from every letter of the alphabet, but will not invite Hooper because of some inexplicable issue he/she has with him).  True, at the very end, the speaker grudgingly decides to invite Hooper.  I’m tempted to share this one for storytime because of my fond memories, but I have to wonder if the speaker’s modest change of heart at the end is enough to get the message across that excluding people isn’t nice?  I just don’t know.  (Now that I think of it, though, children often recognize bad behavior of characters in books and are eager to point it out and correct it.  Maybe we can discuss how it wasn’t nice to want to exclude Hooper for no good reason, but that it was good the speaker finally did the right thing.)

So, we all know “Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”  Out of curiousity, what is your favorite “out of the way” Dr. Seuss book?

Also, does anyone have suggestions for Dr. Seuss activities, such as crafts, songs, and/or flannelboards?


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