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You're Only Old Once!
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You're Only Old Once!

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  1,987 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
With his unmistakable rhymes and signature illustration style, Dr. Seuss creates a classic picture-book ode to aging in You're Only Old Once! On a visit to "the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair," readers will laugh with familiar horror at the poking and prodding and testing and ogling that go hand in hand with the dreaded app ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 56 pages
Published February 12th 1986 by New York: Random House (first published January 1st 1986)
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Mar 05, 2012 Kathryn rated it liked it
My mom loved this book! She found it at the library sale and was laughing so hard we finally begged her to read it aloud ;-) I hate to classify books as being only for certain age groups, but, the cover indicates this is for "obsolete children" and I really do think its humor will best be appreciated by readers of a certain age with a fair amount of experience in waiting rooms and doctors offices. Sadly, my mom has had her fair share of that already by taking my late grandparents to their many a ...more
Kathy Davie
Jun 24, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: satire
It's Everyman for himself in this tale for adults. Yes, that's what I said. It's a story for oldsters who could use a rueful laugh. I want to say it's a fantasy, but I'd be lyin', lol, about this satire on aging.

My Take
Oh, man, just reading the blurb on the inside flap had me laughing. Yes, I'd said that Seuss is quite right about this being a book for adults. I especially "enjoyed" the Eyesight Test — be sure to read it.

The pictures are typical Seuss with his cheery colors and silly scenes.

Michelle McBeth
Dec 12, 2014 Michelle McBeth rated it really liked it
I remember reading this book for the very first time in a doctor's office. It is a satire on the medical system. The older man in the story is dragged from one examination to another of every imaginable type. Then he is given a pile of pills for every ill and finally sent to fill out a stack of papers for billing.

This book is not written for children. It is written for adults who appreciate the humor of being dragged from one doctor to the next and having to wait, wait, wait in between. And in t
Oliver Radtke
Mar 17, 2015 Oliver Radtke rated it it was amazing
I finished reading "You're Only Old Once" by Dr.Seuss. I thought this book was funny, witty, and easy to read. The book was about an old man who went to the hospital for a check up. Throughout his check up, they kept proceeding on doing more tests on him. After all his tests were done, he found out that he was in good shape, and did not have to worry at all.

I read this book to my little cousin who is in fourth grade. She did not enjoy the book as much as I thought she would have. She said that s
Easton Groskreutz
Sep 25, 2015 Easton Groskreutz rated it it was ok
Personal Response:
The book You’re Only Old Once! is very interesting. The child I read the book to thought it was very interesting too. If a child can laugh from a ridiculously silly book then that shows that it’s a real funny book. The child is thirteen and thought a good tongue twister would definitely make his day and it did. The book is also hard to understand because of all the machines and people Dr. Seuss made up.

The book is about an old man who has to get checked at the Golden Year
Mar 03, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: obsolete children
In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday and the Read Across America event, we decided to read one of his books we had not read before.

This book was first published in 1986, and since I was a teenager back then, I suppose I'm not too surprised that I'd never seen or heard of this book before. It's certainly meant for older adults, and I am sure that the older you get, the more you can appreciate the humor.

Our girls still loved the whimsical nature of the story, and I loved that we discovered yet anothe
Maria Hagen
Feb 28, 2014 Maria Hagen rated it liked it
I liked this book, but I thought that a lot of children would miss the vocabulary. However, since it's a book for "obsolete" children, it may be to remind adults that aging isn't that bad.
I thought this book had an interesting perspective on the pharmaceutical industry. It seemed to say that a lot of this wasn't really worth it.
What I didn't like that much is that it still seemed to bring across the message that being old is not a good thing to be.
Children could definitely enjoy it because of t
Javone Mcclelland
Dr. Seuss wrote this book about himself when he was beginning to get very sick, he was in and out of the hospital and was suffering many illnesses. To pass his time in the waiting rooms and hospital beds he began to draw images of hospital machines and scenes of medical procedures. He eventually began to connect these into a book. This was one of his first books that was for elderly people and connected to a different audience. Although intended for a different audience, the pictures were still ...more
Carol Feidt
Dec 04, 2014 Carol Feidt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hilarious and true to life

I was wondering what it would read like but I was laughing at the similarity that are in my life!
Charlotte Skibicki
May 09, 2016 Charlotte Skibicki rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic tongue twister by Seuss. Surprisingly a very accurate description of the medical system lol
Feb 23, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
A fun book on the perils of aging.
Feb 28, 2017 Shannon rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful birthday present for someone who loves Dr Seuss but is too old for Green Eggs and Ham.
Mar 17, 2017 Donna rated it it was amazing
After experiencing a few procedures and being older than I care to comment on, reading this book was hysterical! I can relate to all of it. It should be read aloud. Thank you Dr Seuss.

Love the rest of the title < "A book for Obsolete Children". :)
Jun 09, 2011 Crawford marked it as to-read
Views & Reviews
BMJ 2011; 342:d3002 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d3002
(Published 18 May 2011)

You’re Only Old Once!

Reviewed by
Desmond O’Neill
Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, Dublin

Dignity is a hard concept to master, especially with care of older people, the key demographic of adult medicine. Clinicians sometimes confound undignified practice and clinical settings with a loss of dignity in the person. Equally, the lay public may describe those with illnesses such as d
Sep 10, 2016 Thabata rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, 1986
I cannot stress more how important it is for children’s books not to be focused on a more varying age range. In a colorful maze full of doctors, infinite exams and a fish which is bored of him, an old man goes about the perks of being… well, plain old. The physicians prescribe prescriptions, there are forms to be filled, bills to be billed. In classic rhymes such as only Seuss can deliver, the slight mockery is well spirited, irreverent and fun. The pill drill is the most hilarious, most ridicul ...more
Jack Kirby and the X-man
Dr Seuss examines the old age.

I was honestly expecting more from this book. Yes health care becomes and increasingly large part of your life as you age, but there are certainly other, potentially amusing, aspects of getting old (uppity wipper-snappers, the joys of riding your mobility scooter at top speed (15km/h) in a 80km/h zone, the love of grandkids, how everyone you knew your age (or even younger!) is dead, the fear of how dangerous the world has become, stopping complete strangers with bab
Apr 23, 2015 Dylan added it
Personal Response: I read "You're Only Old Once" by Dr. Seuss with my little nephew Cooper. We both enjoyed the book and thought it was very funny and sort of true. When people get old, they have to undergo many tests that might seem uncomfortable. If the tests were bad you had to take a lot of pills that would help certain problems. This book showed me that I never want to get old.

Plot:The book talked about you sitting in a doctor's office feeling nervous. When the doctor comes out he goes thro
Tots R
Apr 20, 2015 Tots R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You're only Old once by Dr. Seuss
I love just about every book Dr. Seuss writes. He sure does know how to write a poem, a rhythm, or story to capture a child's attention. I have almost the whole collection of Dr. Seuss books available in my daycare for my children to Read. Dr. Seuss poetry is funny and always has a riddle when reading it. This book is great to read over and over again to kids they loves it and it makes them laugh every time I read it to them. This book also makes you feel happy a
Alexis Espinosa
You're Only Old Once! follows an elderly man to The Golden Years clinic where he undergoes bizarre medical tests. It is a rhyming book and has a poetry format.

Comments/observations: The reading level of this book is third to fifth grade although older readers would find this book more enjoyable. The theme of this book include culture, diversity, and growing up. My emotional readers response was that it reminded me of classic Dr. Seuss with all the rhyming. Students like to read books that rhyme
Crystal Warrick
This is such a funny book! I would read this book to high school students because they tend to think they are grown and know what life is all about right out of high school and in reality there is still so much to learn and more things you have to go through in life then just high school drama. This book talks about all the struggles of becoming older and has great pictures, but a little long paragraphs. It is definitely worth the read for adults as well if you want a good laugh.
Mar 23, 2016 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: elm-572
I will never deny myself or anyone else the chance to read a Dr. Seuss book. The simple artistry and weaving of words is hypnotic and exciting. At first, I thought that the local library wouldn’t have any Dr. Seuss books that I haven’t read yet, I was wrong!

You’re Only Old Once by Dr. Seuss has me smiling even before I open the book, on the cover, it states, “A Book for Obsolete Children.” Despite the funny opening line, I don’t believe that I will have this in my classroom. This book is funny
Mar 12, 2012 Robert rated it it was amazing
Before the famous children's books Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and drew social commentary directed at an older audience, and more momentous and horrific topics, some not universally popular at the time. (For example, regarding fascism as a greater threat than Communism when there was still an American right, many rich and powerful, that still regarded Hitler as a friend and bulwark against Bolshevism, a strong position against isolationism and pacifism, criticizing racism in the U.S. against Jews ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Ben rated it it was amazing
Returned books to the Hershey library and was snorting around, mainly looking in the non-fiction section, trying to find the area for collections of articles, essays, etc (was primarily looking for Vonnegut's book of his college speeches.... which I found), and I came across this. I had never heard of it, so I had to pick it up and give it a read.

It's a Dr. Seuss book (by Dr. Seuss, not one of the fill-ins after he passed away) with his own illustrations and everything, aimed at 70+ year olds, a
Aug 05, 2012 Ellen rated it really liked it
In honor of his 82nd birthday Theodore Geisel celebrated with the publication of this picture book for adults or, to use his term, 'obsolute children'. The story follows an ambiguous 'you' on a visit to the Golden Years Clinic where you have gone for a checkup. From absurd questionnaires about the health history of every extended member of your family past and present to a plethora of prescription pills with a complicated dosage schedule every inch of you is inspected and ogled by a huge staff o ...more
Shelby Fungone
Sep 06, 2013 Shelby Fungone rated it it was amazing
This book was so true and relevant to my grandparents, who are turning 70 next month. It's about a man who goes into the doctors office and is tested for all of these different things like what his eating diet consists of and his hearing. Dr. Seuss illustrates it in the most crazy and wonky of ways, like when the man is tested for hearing there's a large grandfather's clock chiming and people making noise with loud instruments and a large spout of water dropping water into a tub. The whole time ...more
Mar 12, 2009 Evan rated it it was ok
Shelves: kiddie-fare, seuss
The Dr. takes on doctors. A very odd Seuss book about the apparent uselessness of being poked, prodded, examined, probed and treated with the cold indignity that seems part and parcel to the process of aging and medical diagnosis. I feel sorry for that poor fish in the nursing home, outliving all the old folks. He has it pretty dreary. Seuss must have had some beef with the healthcare system because his criticism of it here is merciless. It's hard to know who the intended audience for this book ...more
Tom Schulte
Jan 18, 2016 Tom Schulte rated it liked it
Norval the Fish is a minor recurring character on the Nickelodeon series "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss". He originally appeared in this Dr. Seuss book, the publication of which celebrated Seuss's 82nd birthday. At that age, I find the old master's verse somewhat lacking. It is overly verbose and not as crisp and clean in delivering its imaginative metaphors as his earlier classics are. However, the drawings are as good as any he has done and the storying being only a litany of prescriptions ...more
Nov 08, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find it wonderful that Dr. Seuss wrote a children's book for adults. This is a great read and a nice one for the collection.

I absolutely love this book! By chance I found this at my local chain resale bookstore and I'm so glad that I did. The artwork is as wonderful as it is in any of the Dr. Seuss books creatively depicting the verses on the pages. The story is probably more true than any of the other Dr. Seuss ones but it is still told in his unique creative style. I've already read this a f
Jan 01, 2015 Dewi rated it really liked it
Buku yang menghibur bagi mereka yang beranjak tua. Tokoh utamanya adalah seorang kakek yang melakukan pemeriksaan di sebuah klinik. Sambil menunggu serangkaian tes, ia curhat pada Norval. Siapa itu Norval? salah satu ikan penghuni akuarium klinik.

"Dietician Von Eiffel controls the Wuff-Whiffer, our diet-devising computerized sniffer,
on which you just simply lie down in repose
and sniff at good food as it goes pas your nose.

From caviar soufflé to caribou roast,
From pemmican patties to terrapin to
Written to celebrate Seuss' 82nd birthday, this story follows an elderly fellow through a physical check-up that involves measuring, poking, prodding, and all manner of medical tests imaginable. The blurb on the back says: "Is this a children's book? Well... not immediately. You buy a copy for your child now and you give it to him on his 70th birthday."

I got a little bored halfway through the book, so I do imagine a youngster would definitely not find the book enthralling. It was in our Children
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Gift received with I was about 50 young 1 7 Jan 21, 2009 09:37PM  
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Theodor Seuss Geisel was born 2 March 1904 in Springfield, MA. He graduated Dartmouth College in 1925, and proceeded on to Oxford University with the intent of acquiring a doctorate in literature. At Oxford he met Helen Palmer, who he wed in 1927. He returned from Europe in 1927, and began working for a magazine called Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at the time, submitting both carto ...more
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