Monday, March 10, 2008

Horton Hears a Who

I just read it for the first time. Seriously.
I keep seeing Jim Carey promoting the animated movie and it looks so terribly cute. Those interviewing him keep referencing the story and I just felt a little in the dark.

Then this morning I remembered that the last time I went home to visit family, Mom and I went through some old books and school papers from childhood. I remember grabbing an old Dr. Seuss book or two. Knowing that they were my older sisters’ and probably pretty close to first edition, I wanted to be the one to preserve them even if I wasn’t really a big fan of Dr. Seuss when I was a kid.

So this morning, I looked on the shelf where I stacked these old books. Any chance one of them was Horton?

Imagine my surprise to find only one Dr. Seuss edition. And in fact, Horton Hears a Who!

I read it. Aloud. I got totally worked up and excited. I was wholeheartedly behind Horton’s noble mission. I was a little bit terrified when the eagle dropped the Whoville clover in the giant field of clovers. I noticed the illustrated Horton watching from the cliff, his face full of shock and dismay. I felt as dejected as he. How would he ever find that speck in the field of fuzzy pink clovers?

My world was transformed as it should have been when I was seven. Somehow Seuss didn’t speak to me a kid. But I sure got the message this morning!!

Wow! What a book! The illustrations that I found lackluster in my childhood are so full of emotion and vivid expression. The language that as a child I found a bit annoying – is so rhythmic and fluid and fun to read aloud! Amazing!

Looking back, I don't remember anyone reading it to me. I was a good reader, and as the third and youngest child (who, as my mom would say, was really good at keeping herself entertained) I was often left to read and explore on my own. So without adult interpretation, Seuss was lost on me. I have just discovered Dr. Seuss. And it is good!

Now I really can’t wait for the movie!


  1. i can't wait for the movie either. i'm hoping it's as good as i think it is.

  2. It was so interesting to read your perspective - reading Horton Hears a Who for the first time as an adult. I grew up reading & hearing Seuss, and I definitely think his books should be read aloud. They roll off the tongue in a most delightful way.

  3. I have mentioned seeing the movie to Mr. Burns and he's intrigued.

    I brought the book over to his house last night - I think it's important to always read the book before you see the movie version - ha! He has never read it either!
    I offered to read it to him but he declined. Hrrumph!

  4. i read it again over christmas to my nephew and i loved it. i loved it as a child too though.

  5. I love Dr. Seuss! No one ever read it to me either..& I was the youngest. The kids have Dr. Seuss day at school every year it's a lot of fun dressing them up. My favorite is Cindy lue Who

  6. Dr. Seuss is classic; after seeing Horton Hears a Who i was reminded how much that guy can pack into a simple storyline... they didn't add much to the original story either except for the usual Jim Carreyisms.