And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street

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And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr Suess has all the elements of a great children's book. Funny, lively, written in rhyme, an excellent rhythm when read out loud, and with lovely illustrations the book is thoroughly enjoyable.

illustration

But what makes the book particularly special to me, is what it has to say.

As a writer I appreciate how the child builds a grand and exciting story, from a rather boring observation of a boring horse pulling a broken down cart down a sleepy road. What's even better is that the book takes us through the detailed process of creating such a wonderful story. It does not pop in to the child's brain as a final polished product in one great epiphany. It is built, bit by bit, each iteration making it just slightly better than the last. But with each tiny improvement, the child is motivated to do even better and his persistence pays off.

As a parent it reminds me to distinguish between malicious lies and flights of imagination in my daughter's tales. Sometimes the line between these is hazy, but it is something to keep in mind. Kids often take wild detours from the truth. While we must stress the importance of honesty, when our kids tell us tall tales, we must think carefully, before we decide to judge a particular tale as lying with an intent to deceive, or being imaginative, so as not to suppress their creative instincts.

I have found this is not easy to do, because sometimes kids start out on one side of the line and cross over. Sometimes they are too close to the line to know. Either way it has to be dealt with on a case by case basis. And it does help think about this story before deciding one way or another.

You can buy the book here at amazon

Tags: book, review, laughs, values, creativity, kids