Cheryl Grossman's Reviews > The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
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Mar 05, 11

Read in January, 1963

This book demonstrates that a limited vocabulary doesn't mean that the story must be dull (Look, Jane, Look!). I also love the very transgressive Cat. Much like Bugs Bunny, the Cat is well-meaning (mostly) but full of jokes and tricks.

What disturbs me are the many reviewers who seem terribly concerned by the lack of supervision (it's a fantasy, folks!). In most classic children's literature, parents and other adults seem to be absent for one reason or another and children get to have adventures and choose their own activities.

Read Beverly Cleary, or Eleanor Estes, or E. Nesbit or Frances Hodgeson Burnett. In The Secret Garden, we have Mary Lennox who goes from an environment where her ayah not only does everything for her, but also controls her every minute to the moors where children could take a sandwich and spend the whole day doing what they wished outdoors. And she is healthier for it.

Even in my own childhood, I seemed to have much more freedom to not be under my parent's eye at all times. Now, because of fears that range from justified to unfounded, kids have little opportunity to go anywhere or do anything under their own steam. No wonder so many are sitting on couches, playing video games, and getting obese. Which brings its own dangers.
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