Item description for The Parables of Dr. Seuss by Robert L. Short...
Overview The author of "The Gospel According to Peanuts" now turns his attention to the works and verses of Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, who is hardly regarded as a Christian thinker. However, by drawing on the Bible and other works, Short presents quick theological readings of Seusss works.
This breezy and engaging book will delight the Dr. Seuss fan in all of us. Robert Short looks at spirituality in the stories of children's book author and illustrator Theodore "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, arguing that Geisel was "a first-class Christian thinker." The book explores "Green Eggs and Ham," "Horton Hears a Who," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and others.
Short writes in the introduction, "When I first became acquainted with his books and was struck by the many parallels I saw between his work and what is said in the Bible and by Christian faith, I considered these similarities to be merely 'happy accidents.' Today I still see these parallels as 'happy, ' but I'm now convinced that they are not merely 'accidents.'"
From Publishers Weekly A generation ago, Short hit a nerve with The Gospel According to Peanuts, which sold more than 10 million copies and launched a series of Gospel According to books about religion and popular culture. Here, with more mixed results, Short offers the same treatment to the stories of Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, who is often dismissed as a childrens writer rather than the first-class Christian thinker Short feels he is. Short tackles eleven Seuss tales, from the famous and well-known (How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Green Eggs and Ham), to the little-read (I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew, which Short confesses is his personal favorite). Drawing on the Bibleespecially Paul and the Gospelsand the plays of William Shakespeare, Short presents quick theological readings of these stories, with the highlight being the creative cat-echism he crafts as a creed from The Cat in the Hat. He points out some things Seuss fans may not have noticed, i.e., the Lorax may well be an acronym for the Lord and Christ, making it a parable about faith rather than merely a lesson on environmental responsibility. Despite these flashes of brilliance, the book feels thin and disjointed, with waiflike chapters existing best as individual micro-essays rather than part of a cohesive whole. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Parables of Dr. Seuss by Robert L. Short has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 12/01/2007 page 50
Publishers Weekly - 10/29/2007 page 45
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Studio: Westminster John Knox
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.74" Height: 0.28" Weight: 0.36 lbs.
Release Date Jan 21, 2008
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
ISBN 0664230474 ISBN13 9780664230470
Reviews - What do customers think about The Parables of Dr. Seuss?
Too many presumptions Apr 18, 2009
I found the content disappointing. I felt that the author's presumptions of Dr. Seuss' underlying meaning, in the stories that he referenced, were frequently very difficult for me to find credible or acceptable. I just felt it was guesswork by the author with less substantiation than I would like to have paid for. I enjoy the Dr. Seuss stories and believe that several of them do convey wonderful truths. I just don't believe that this author presented them very well at all.
The "Godfather" of "Gospel According To ..." Books is Back with a Spiritual Salute to Seuss Feb 25, 2008
I've known there was more to Dr. Seuss ever since I read through his collection of World War II-era cartoons: "Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor (Seuss) Geisel." His strong social conscience was obvious as he skewered the dangers of the Nazi thugs extending their grasp across Europe. Some of his cartoons were even razor-sharp darts at the handful of Americans who were sympathetic to the Fascists.
Now, Robert Short has turned to a theological study of Seuss' dozens of children's books. This is not as crazy as it may sound to Baby Boomers reared on "Cat in the Hat." Short has a sharp eye and mind for these things. After all, he's the "godfather" of the "Gospel According to ..." genre. In the 1960s, Short wrote the original "Gospel According to Peanuts" book that sold millions and millions of copies. Digging into Seuss' early life, Short points out that -- while studying at Oxford University in the mid 1920s -- Seuss' greatest desire was to illustrate a new edition of "Pilgrim's Progress." The fact that Oxford scholars blocked his plan eventually led to his departure from Britain -- and, Short argues, his later strategy of submerging spiritual themes beneath the surface of his book projects.
Short doesn't completely prove that Seuss deliberately placed Christian themes in his children's books -- but Short does convincingly demonstrate that these themes must have been a part of the spiritual fabric of Seuss' creative life.
You'll have to read the book to decide for yourself, but after examining 11 of Seuss' most popular books -- Short makes a mighty convincing case that Seuss has been passing powerful messages along to us through the years with equal doses of joy and laughter!
Members of small groups, looking for intriguing books to study, will thoroughly enjoy this journey with Short and Seuss.