I try to discourage parents from reading beginning reader books to their toddlers and preschoolers. Lots of them are fun--and the texts are brief, which may make them easier for short attention spans, but they lack the full language pre-readers need so much. They need books with full language, lots of new vocabulary, and if they do have brief texts, they ought to have lots to talk about in the pictures.
On the other hand, if you want to do Seuss at story hours, you've got a problem because his other, non-beginning reader books tend to have long,long texts with tons of tongue tangling made-up words. This is a big part of Seuss's charm for children, but it does make things hard on the grownups. And when you are a librarian doing story hours for a group, multiply that by 100 at least!
But certain Seuss and Seussian beginning readers DO lend themselves to lots of interaction between adults and children.And it's those that I gravitate to when it's time to do a Seuss program:
I did this book with my 3-5 year old set, and brought in a drum. I let them try using "one thumb", then"one hand" and then "two hands". Each child got a turn. Some did patterns--real music, some just banged away, but all had fun. If you have enough drums or such to give everyone their own, you could try that, but I like doing it this way--more controlled and less cacophony!
We also beat out some of the rhythms just with our hands, and mimed some of the other actions.All of it was fun.
BTW, this is by Al Perkins, NOT Doctor Seuss. But try finding info about Al Perkins--it's just not there. Perhaps it was another of Seuss's pseudonyms.......
"A Book Of Wonderful Noises" This is a bit hard on the throat, but the enthusiasm with which even the 2 year olds respond to this book is truly impressive. And I am SURE that a "hippopotamus chewing gum" would really sound like "Grum, Grum"
I was reading this and was reminded of the wonderful sequence in "The Phantom Tollbooth" where Milo meets the Soundkeeper, and the sound of "an octopus opening a cellophane covered bathtub". Wonder if Seuss ever read that--bet he would have been a fan!
"Green Eggs and Ham", voiced by Paul Winchell (also the voice of Tigger in Winnie the Pooh) was one of those cartoons and one of my favorites. So I was inspired to find a way to do it for the kids. And my method is props:
1)Sam I Am doll/toy
3)House prop (puppet show scenery)
4)Box (yellow box on floor)
6)Tree (display prop)
7)Car (toy car)
8)Mini-umbrella (for Rain)
9)Thomas the Tank Engine Whistle (train)
10)Goat (big stick puppet)
11)Boat (wind sock toy)
12)Cat in the Hat Hat for me to wear
I couldn't figure out a way to do "dark"--hard to turn off the lights and too awkward to duck under a blanket, so I just omitted it. And next time I am going to make signs saying "here" and "there".
The "green eggs and ham" are barely visible under the umbrella--I blew up a cardboard cut out, backed it with stiff felt and used it that way. Next year I intend to make a green felt ham (you can buy them via Etsy, BTW) and use 2 green plastic eggs!
For use it again I will. The kids loved this and joined in repeating all the items each time, which is good literacy practice.
But above all this was FUN, in the best Seussian fashion.
I looked at crafts, decided that they were all too fussy, too patterned and totally contrary to Seuss's
way of thinking:
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
...You are the guy (or gal) who'll decide where to go.
So we watched the original, real "Green Eggs and Ham" and they each got a lovely fox stamp, since for some ridiculous reason there are no Seuss stamps at all. Of all the things NOT to sell..
And I hope none of them go to see that stupid "Lorax" travesty this weekend!