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Dr. Seuss: Using Rhythm and Rhyme to Make Reading Fun

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! I mean, for reals, where did he come up with this stuff? His characters are crazy and the stories are silly, but I think so much of the appeal of Dr. Seuss’ works is in his masterful use of rhythm and rhyme. Once you start reading his books, it’s impossible not to smile, and it’s so hard to get their sing-song rhythms out of your head!

This is one of Dr. Seuss’ most famous quotes:

The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Out of all of his books, do you know where this quote comes from? It’s not from Cat in the Hat. Not from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, either. Nope. You’ll have to keep reading to find out where this famous quote can be found.

In honor of Read Across America Day (March 2), I want to take a few moments to celebrate short snippets from my kids’ favorite Dr. Seuss delights. Some of these titles may be lesser known, but the cadence in pieces of poetry is just amazing. Of course we also love his classics and their movie counterparts (The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas), but the short, punchy lines and repeated phrases get lost when you make a 90-minute movie out of a 2,000-word children’s book.

But before I share these wonders in rhythm and rhyme, let me invite you to take the Read Across America pledge. Now, on to some Swaringen house favorites.

Fox in Socks

When beetles fight these battles
in a bottle with their paddles
and the bottle’s on a poodle
and the poodle’s eating noodles…
They call this a
muddle puddle
tweetle poodle
beetle noodle
bottle paddle battle

I can assure you that your tongue will be numb if you can make it to the end of this one! Hands down, it’s a fan favorite for bedtime stories!

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

Oh, the wonderful things Mr. Brown can do!
Moo Moo Buzz Buzz
Pop Pop Pop
Eek Eek Hoo Hoo
Klopp Klopp Klopp
Dibble Dibble Dopp Dopp
Mr. Brown can do it.
How about you?

Kids love animals, and my kids sure love the rhythm and rhyme of this silly book!


I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

I can read in red.
I can read in blue.
I can read in pickle color too.
I can read in bed.
And in purple. And in brown.
I can read in a circle and upside down.

I love the simplicity of this book. The words aren’t difficult. My beginning readers can handle them just fine. But the message is spectacular. And this, my friends, is the Dr. Seuss classic where his famous quote lives.

There are so many things you can learn about
But…you’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.
The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
You might learn a way to earn a few dollars.
Or how to make doughnuts…or kangaroo collars.
You can learn to read music or play a Hut-Zut
if you keep your eyes open.
But not with them shut.

I haven’t really met a Dr. Seuss book I didn’t like. Have you? Comment below and tell us your favorites!

Further Resources

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