Dr. Seuss: And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street
So there I was seeing a lot of quotes from Dr. Seuss on pinterest (yes I have pinterest, weirdly enough it relaxes me), when I realized I have never read any of his books. A surprising realization since I enjoyed all those snippets I have read and loved the movies I have watched. This led me on to this project, to read and review most (if not all) of his books I can get hold of. Easy enough in this modern times of internet and now I can say I have read his first book – And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street.
The story, in my opinion, is about Marco and his, in my opinion, brilliant imagination. He is the protagonist while his dad, unfortunately, seems like an antagonist. He asks Marco to keep his eyes open and tell him what he sees when he walks on his way to and from school. Unfortunately, when Marco told his Dad what he sees, he was asked to “stop telling such outlandish tales”. So on Marco’s walk back home, he was wondering what to tell his Dad when as he walked on Mulberry street all he saw was a horse and a wagon. As Seuss’ flowing talent with poetry flows through the story, you will be swept away with Marco’s gift of imagery as the once oh so boring wagon and horse (no offense to the horse) escalated to a zebra, a reindeer, an elephant, with some helpers when it becomes apparent to Marco that the wagon is also getting heavier as it becomes a chariot, into a sleigh, a big brass band to be accompanied by a trailer. Not only that, as they pass through Mulberry street, they are escorted by the police, a plane passes by to throw confetti as the Mayor waves the procession along. And did I mention a chinese guy eating with chopsticks, a magician pulling out rabbits from his hat and before I forget, the Rajah sitting atop the blue elephant? The story was rolling along so seamlessly and effortlessly that it was nearly overwhelming (in a good way). Which I think was no wonder why Marco ended up just telling his Dad about the wagon and the horse.
For me, this is a wonderful rendering of a child keeping his or her thoughts to him/herself, knowing (or having an inkling) that an adult will not understand or be afraid for him. In some way, the Dad in this story is protecting his child in his own way. However, this does not stop Marco from using his imagination, which I really find important to convey to children who will or have read this book. For all brilliant minds start with the ability to think beyond what they see. To think outside the box and to preserve who they are and how they think despite society telling them otherwise. Also, that their parents are there to reign them in when needed.
As the first book Dr. Seuss have published and the first one I have read, I must say it’s the best 5 minutes (or less) I have spent reading a book. For children, Dr. Seuss is like a moral compass and for adults (like moi) it’s an affirmation of how you are living your life.
Keep your imagination intact. The world around is as colorful and lively as Marco have depicted in the sudden parade on Mulberry Street.