You're Only Old Once!
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

You're Only Old Once!

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,184 ratings  ·  81 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, 48 pages
Published February 12th 1986 by New York: Random House (first published January 1st 1986)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,797)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
A fun book on the perils of aging.
Maria Hagen
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...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...more
Jun 10, 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...more
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
Shelby Fungone
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
You're Only Old Once is another Dr. Seuss picture book, but this time it's directed toward older adults. It's written in the style of all his other works--humorous poetry with made-up words and Dr. Seuss' typical illustrations. The entire book is a look at what
happens when you have to go to the doctor or to the hospital when get old.
S. J.
Sep 05, 2012 S. J. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adults around or above 50, people looking for a birthday present for an older friend
Recommended to S. by: Library
Short review (will do better one when read again)

This is not a book for children. Not that there is anything bad or wrong in it; in fact this is a very truthful book. No, this is not for children because they will not be able understand or relate with this. This is a picture book for adults, full of Dr. Seuss' humor and unique way of looking at the world and is meant to look at how society and the person themselves deal with getting older. At times you have to laugh so as not to cry but mostly i...more
♥Moon ♥Love ♥Stars ♥Imagination
Apr 30, 2014 ♥Moon ♥Love ♥Stars ♥Imagination rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to ♥Moon ♥Love ♥Stars ♥Imagination by: Torquay Library
You're Only Old Once! by Dr. Seuss is a short, fun read for any age group. I saw it in the Torquay Library, picked it up and read it in under five minutes...
Plainfield Public Library District
I registered a book at!
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...more
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
I had no idea this existed! Fabulous Dr. Seuss for adults! Truly excellent and I liked it a lot. Recommended for all adults.
Julia Troike
My fellow librarians: This is NOT a children's book. Please do not catalog it there, it's certainly for adults.
Fun Dr. Seuss for the young at heart or if you ever have been sick and had to to visit the hospital
Katy Snyder
Until now I had never met a Dr. Seuss book that I didn't like. I can understand why he might have written it, but I don't think many children would like it. This book makes growing up and growing old sound like a scary, never ending string of doctors and medication. I kept expecting him to turn it around and undo all of the negative images he presented, but at the end all it said was "you're in pretty good shape for the shape that you're in". Am I supposed to be content with growing old and rely...more
Myth Girl
I watched an interview with Dr. Suess's widow, and she mentioned this little-known book of his. It wasn't quite what I expected. The Goodreads description says, "Dr. Seuss lightens the aches and pains of growing old with his inimitable wit and wisdom." But, I didn't really take that feeling away from it at all. It was miserable as he moved from doctor to doctor to test after test. I didn't think he put a light spin on it, and I think it would have freaked me out when I was little! It was clever...more
Eva Sanchez
That's the motto baby YOOO
Follow an old man as he goes through test after test and sees doctors to his left and right and everywhere else. Not quite a children's book, the author suggests giving it to a child upon their 70th birthday.

This is definitely a Seuss book that finds its audience in adults, as anyone who's ever had a runaround at the doctor will recognize it for the three ring circus that Seuss present it as.

Full color illustrations.
This one is a picture book, but aimed at adults. It follows an older man getting poked and prodded and checked by doctors. Having read this immediately after The Lorax, it wasn't quite as engaging. I found there were more made-up words that I stumbled through a little bit, through to the end of the book, not just at the beginning. However, it is still a humourous look at aging. The pictures, of course, add to the humour.
Lots of fun, but holy wow, is it depressing.
I put this book on the kids shelf because it's by Dr. Seuss, but it's really for old people. Sure, kids will like it too, but I think older people will more likely get the jokes. Maybe it's a book that older people can read to younger people.

Anyway, this book does not make getting old look any fun.
Donna Portnoy
Dr Suess' only adult book. Very funny and a great gift for someone turning a certain age!
Brett Hollinger
It's Dr. Seuss! What more can you say? Inspirational, appropriate and fun for any age.
This is the kind of book that kids find hilarous, and for once the parents relate to the snarky humor as well. While it's a funny take on our not-so-funny inadequate healthcare system, it's also about taking care of yourself and being happy with what you have - because you only get it once.
Fantastic book for kids! So imaginative and creative. Easy read that children will find delightful!

Dr. Seuss is always brilliant! His stories and rhymes are fun and entertaining! Some of my all time favorites!! Such a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading!
As usual Dr. Seuss brings humor into the human condition of growing older. His book depicts a visit to a Doctor's office with numerous tests and checks. Funny and delightful. I was reminded of all the Dr. Seuss books I read growing up. The cadence is the same.
I liked this book because it seemed to portray in a humorous way the aging process. On the book jacket it said you buy a copy for your child now and give it to him on his 70th birthday. Dr. Seuss celebrated his 82nd birthday with the publication of the book.
Dec 18, 2011 Carly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Age 12 and up
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2011
You're Only Old Once! is an amusing book that gives a lighthearted twist to the experiences of older adults and their regular trips to doctors--in which they are "properly pilled" and "properly billed." Classic Dr. Seuss: both entertaining and insightful!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 59 60 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Gift received with I was about 50 young 1 6 Jan 21, 2009 09:37PM  
  • Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel
  • Consider Love
  • The Boy on Fairfield Street
  • Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You!
  • The Far Side Observer
  • Mommy Laid An Egg: Or, Where Do Babies Come From?
  • Ming Lo Moves the Mountain
  • The Quilt Story
  • Curious George and the Pizza
  • The Travels of Babar
  • Oliver
  • The Berenstain Bears on the Moon (Bright & Early Books)
  • Froggy Learns to Swim
  • My Little Sister Ate One Hare
  • Kockroach
  • The World According to Mimi Smartypants
  • The Valentine Bears
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
More about Dr. Seuss...
Green Eggs and Ham The Cat in the Hat Oh, The Places You'll Go! How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Lorax

Share This Book