But, did you know that Dr. Seuss is also known for the most inspirational quotable quotes and thoughts that one can ever get from children’s literature? Some of the Dr. Seuss books, if chosen deliberately and read mindfully can actually work as self-help books for children, building their confidence and self-esteem amongst other things.
Here are some of our picks:
Welcome to the imaginary land of Katroo, where birthday birds grow. The special birthday bird comes just to the birthday girl or boy. The concept of the birthday embraces the concept of individuality of each and every child. You are YOU…a unique YOU…is the powerful message, that every child must imbibe.
Today you are you,
That’s truer than true,
There’s nobody alive,
Who is youer than YOU!
The lesson: Celebrating individuality
Use it when: You need to remind yourself, or your child that individual differences are to be celebrated.
This book was written after Seuss’ vision began to fade and he started wearing glasses. In the quintessential Dr. Seuss way, it evokes the magic and the fun of reading.
“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”
The lesson: The joys and the magic of reading, anywhere and anytime! Books can actually take you places, where you would never go had you not read them. This book emphasizes on the power of knowledge.
Use it when: You or your child need a little reminder to gently nudge you back into the world of books.
This one gets full marks on the inspiration quotient. Indeed, it is the most inspirational Dr. Seuss books, and one that adults can actually relate with quite easily, as much as children can. It has a generous dose of motivational one-liners. The theme is about how obstacles are always present, but that life is all about moving on. The book propels the reader to go ahead and accomplish all that he wants to.
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
“You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.”
Lesson: It instils self-confidence and self-esteem in a realistic manner and motivates one to go on.
Use it when: You are dejected and unsure about your progress, and you need that little push to go on…along with a dose of self-confidence!
If all was well with the concept of Power, the world would be a different place. Louis I – King of the Sheep, a picture book for children by renowned French illustrator Olivier Tallec, explores the fleeting and corrupting nature of power. Tallec is known to bring deep sensitivity and beauty in his works. This book is no exception.
Louis, a ‘common’ sheep grazing in the open fields gets lucky one day. The wind blows a crown on his head. Since he has the crown on his head, he declares himself king.
AND SO IT WAS ONE WINDY DAY THAT LOUIS the SHEEP THEREBY BECAME LOUIS I KING OF the SHEEP
His rise to power is due to chance. But, power transforms him. He slowly becomes a tyrant. A change occurs within him. Obviously, this is because of the power he has now. The change comes slowly but pervasively. As you turn the pages, you can observe the change that at first occurs in small doses.
BUT FIRST and FOREMOST, LOUIS I DECIDED, HE MUST BRING ORDER TO HIS KINGDOM.
SO HE COMMANDED HIS PEOPLE TO MARCH BEHIND HIM IN SHEEP STEP.
Louis gets a special place for himself so he can rest. He hunts for lions and such royal pursuits. He receives grand artists at his place. He basically indulges in activities that kings do. But, by now, Louis I is completely drunk on power and matters turn sinister.
NEXT, LOUIS I DECIDED THAT ONLY the SHEEP WHO RESEMBLED HIM COULD LIVE AT HIS SIDE.
The OTHERS MUST BE DRIVEN OUT.
However, if power can come, so can it go. Another day, it takes but a bit of gusty wind to blow the crown away.
LOUIS I, KING OF the SHEEP BECAME LOUIS the SHEEP ONCE AGAIN.
By using the example of a humble sheep, Tallec shows that no one, not even the simplest and most innocent amongst us, is immune to the corrupting influence of power. The gentle pace of the story and a very positive end makes it a pleasant read.
Tallec’s design background ensures that the illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful, to say the least. Highly detailed and spread generously over the pages, the powerful pictures take the story forward. Each page has a maximum of just two lines of text, if at all. Yet, it is the impact of the powerful lines and the wonderful illustrations make the story what it is.
The notion of power dynamics hits us right from childhood when we face power relationships with parents and significant others. The book explains simple truths about power that both children and adults will be able to relate with. It illustrates how power depends on chance, how power corrupts and the fact that it is transitory.