Bartholomew and the Oobleck
by Dr. Seuss/ published 1949 by Random House
How did it take 30 years for me to reunite with the oobleck!?! When I was really, really little -- even before I could read -- I would pull this one off the shelf at the bookstore and freak myself out. I never actually read the book, but the pictures totally scared the crap out of me.
I finally purchased it at a used book store a few days go and read it to my son for the first time yesterday. Man, did he dig it. I've never seen him more riveted by a book and jacked up. And frankly, I was pretty jacked too. This story is awesome on so many different levels that I could write a thesis about its awesomeness. Really, this just might be my favorite Dr. Seuss story EVER.
So there's the king see... and he gets tired of always looking at the rain, the sun, the snow and the fog that come down from the sky... and he wants something to come down in his kingdom that no other kingdom has... so he calls his evil magicians together, and urges them to create something the world has never seen...
For a moment they stood thinking, blinking their creaky eyes.
Then they spoke a word...one word..."Oobleck."
"Oobleck...?" asked the King. "What will it look like?"
"Won't look like rain. Won't look like snow.
Won't look like fog. That's all we know.
We just can't tell you any more.
We've never made oobleck before."
The foreboding is deliciously sinister. The series of events as they unfold -- completely engulfing. It is a lesson in climate change and the outcomes of doing horrible things to the natural world. (As well as being a selfish pig and learning to say you're sorry.)
There is this page boy named Bartholomew who -- even as the oobleck is hitting the fan and people are getting stuck in the muck -- pulls it together to give the king such an empowering tongue lashing... wow. The drama is impeccable, and the climax, as good as any I've seen. We've had three reads since yesterday -- "Mommy, where's the book about the gunk?" -- and mark my words, 20 years from now, this will be one of the ones that floats to the top of his memory, time and time again. A thousand thumbs way, way up.
Come Over to My House
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?