Dear Dr. Seuss,
When I was young, my dad would read your books to me. He would read from several different story time collections that his parents had read to him when he was younger. In the collection, there were about twenty different
stories he would read to my twin, my brother,
and me. He would try to read different stories
from day to day, but I
always begged him to read the
story "King Looie Katz." Now that I'm reading on my own, my dad rarely reads the stories to me, but he still reads your stories to my little sister Gabbi. This isn't to say he doesn't read to me or my other siblings,
he still does. Lately though he has been reading more "grown up"
books, like “The Hobbit” which he reads to us as a family every now and then. So this tradition
of reading your books (or other books) hasn't died yet, but it weakens as my siblings
and I grow up. If it does die I'm sure that I, as well as my twin sister will revive the ritual when we have children of our own. For example, I already plan to read "King Looie Katz" to my first child once he or she is older than a day. I feel that this is one of the first books that I heard that touched my heart, so I want it to be
the first story that their little heart hears. And even when I'm old and grey, I will always remember the most powerful
line in the story, "Poor
Zooie got so awfully mad so mad he could have spit. But he did a far braver thing... He
simply yelled 'I QUIT!'" This quote shows true power and bravery, and it will always be one of my favorites, even if I have to read it myself.
When I was six, I loved the story for a whole different reason than I do now; I used to love it because the pictures were so colorful
and the names were funny. Now after re-reading the book, I realize that it has a whole different meaning.
Instead of just being a bunch of random names, the book is now a story about a corrupt
kingdom, a selfish ruler, a bunch of poor commoners, and a small but courageous cat.
Looking back on this book, I realize that it's not just about a made up world,
but the world around it. This
story shows examples
of real life circumstances and real life courage. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was trying to make a difference, his cause was at the back of the line; but he pushed forward
and tried to get people to see life
through his eyes. He organized
peaceful marches, boycotts, and sit-ins. He stood up for rights and did what no one else dared to do, and he eventually
got his way and made a huge difference on the world around him. Just as Zooie got the King to realize that his people were his equals and he had to
carry his own tail too, people started
to realize that African Americans
were equal to them, and they deserved
to be treated as equals.
Dr. King may have lost his life soon after he changed
the world and made a difference, but he lost it for a cause that he truly believed was worth it. After picking back up my childhood
treasure, I realize that even though what we do every day may seem small, our everyday
actions change the world around
us more than we know.
When I finished re-reading this book, I was kind of surprised to see how much my opinion about the book, and you, had changed.
"King Looie Katz" changed from a nice story to read before bed, into a life lesson. You, my all time favorite
author, changed from a guy who writes funny books, with made up rhymy words into a man who can take real life crises such as discrimination and racism (The Sneeches) and
being happy for what you
have because there are others worse
off (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are) into children's books! I thought you were amazing
when I was younger, now you are truly an inspiration. My favorite character
had changed along with my opinions. It went from the cat with the funniest
name, to the cat with the bravest
attitude. My favorite
cat is now the cat that reminds
me so much of my friend Ryan.
Just like Zooie, Ryan isn't all that tall. But contrary
to his physical size, his heart is bigger than most of the tall people I know. Because
of his size, Ryan is sometimes pushed around and told what to do, but like Zooie, he doesn't back down just because
the odds are against him. Ryan stands up for himself and changes everyone
around him. When someone was teasing Ryan for being
short, he didn't just sit there and let the words hurt him, he told someone
who he knew would help him stand up to the bully. He came to
my sister and me. We not only comforted him and told him the bullies were wrong, but we also told an adult who we knew would do something. We were all a little nervous at first, because
we didn't know what would happen, but Ryan kept our spirits
high with his sunny attitude.
He was right. Everything turned out fine, but if he hadn't said something to
us, we never would have known and never could have solved
his problem. Ryan and Zooie have both taught me to never underestimate how much one person can change the world around
you within only a few short weeks.
Your book has taught me what true courage
is. I always thought I was courageous
because I was able to go up on stage and perform at concerts even when I was scared,
and my sister thinks she's courageous because
she is braver than me. And we're both
right, everybody is courageous in their own little ways, but only certain people are spirited
enough to do what they think is right even when everyone
else is just trying to fit in with the crowd.
I thank you Dr. Seuss. Thank you for being a part of my bedtime tradition.
Thank you for your life lessons and inspiration. Thank you for a new perspective on life. And thank you for a future of reading with children of my own. But most of all, thank you
for showing me how to be strong
even when others
are not and to never underestimate the power of one person.