Wall Notes

Writing, thoughts, ramblings, and what makes me laugh

What’s a word that rhymes with banana?

I enjoy reading. I really do. Ever since I was a small child. I remember some of my favorite books: Charlie The Christmas Mouse, The Runaway Bunny, I Wish I Had Duck Feet, and anything written by Dr. Seuss. I loved Dr. Seuss. I couldn’t get enough of it. If I had to pick a favorite it probably had to be Horton Hatches An Egg. I could sit and listen to that book for hours. I knew what was going to happen. I knew that rude bird was an unfit mother and would treat Horton like an underpaid babysitter. I knew that Horton was a man (or elephant) of his word. I knew that Miss-selfish-bird would try to take all of the credit in the end. I also was aware that the baby that hatched from the egg would choose Horton over her Uno-Mom (I’m sorry I should have said spoiler warning).

Even though I was aware of this I still empathized with Horton. I still rooted for the under-dog. I was sad when he was mistreated and cheered for him when he got the credit he deserved. It is a book that should be embraced by every child. Better yet, it should be consider literature. That’s right, from now on Horton Hatches An Egg is literature. This celebrated hardback was (and still is) a huge part of my childhood. It was read to me so much that I could recite it to you word for word. I took you down this waltz through storybook lane to make this point: IT WAS READ TO ME!

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO READ DR. SEUSS? Good gracious it’s difficult. It’s like trying to gargle with a mouthful of gravel and sand. You might be able to do it. But get ready for a dry mouth, a sore tongue, and the possibility of blinding your reader with a projectile. As a child I saw Dr. Seuss as a creative man who constructed fantastic worlds with opportunity for anything to happen. Now I see Dr. Seuss as a cruel man who was either bullied by a dentist or was mute.

I share this revelation with you because my worldview was shattered a few days ago when I was invited to reading day at one of our local elementary schools. It was actually called Dr. Seuss Reading Day. I was one of a few guests invited to read to some of the classes. The moment I arrived at the school I was taken to the library for my name tag and book choice. After talking to a few familiar faces and meeting some new ones I was left to my dellima. What to read? I stood in front of a table overflowing with books (only a small percentage of which were Dr. Seuss). There were books about Turtles learning the alphabet, little girls visiting grandma, birds trying to fit in with other birds, and books written by the man with a poison tipped pen (formally known as Dr. Seuss).

I did pick up a book that was about ten pages in length that gave facts about poisonous snakes and how to deal with getting bit by one. I turned it toward the Librarian and asked, “This a big problem around here?” 

“No, I don’t think so?”

“Oh, well is the How To Sew On A Toe After A Rat Bites It Off  here or another book out of the When animals attack series?

She stared at me for a moment and replied, “I don’t remember seeing that book.”

Back to the books: I had made up my mind before I got to the school that I was reading Dr. Seuss. It was read to me so I was reading it to the other children. It’s classic (or evil). I was told I was reading to two First Grade classrooms, so Dr. Suess seemed like a great idea. After a another careful search through the stacks I decided upon I Had Trouble Getting To Solla Sollew……how did I not see the problems coming. 

Once I arrived to the classroom I met the kids and the teacher. They all were very welcoming and excited about a little reading time. I introduced myself, played a few name games with the kids, and off to the reading area we went. I sat in the reading chair and they circled around me on the carpet. After a little instruction from them on how I was supposed to hold the book…off we went. I started to read I Had Trouble Reading This Dr. Seuss Book That Should Never Have Been Written. After the first two pages it was like a lobster was inside my mouth holding my tongue ransom while his girlfriend worked my Larynx over like punching bag. It was insane. There should be a rule that if you can’t rhyme a word, you are not allowed to make up one to plug in the story. 

The kids were laughing. The teacher raised her hand and shouted “Amen” on ever struggle I had and I felt a little embarrassed that this book was kicking my tail. Not to mention that for some reason every time I ran across the word “Sword” I pronounced it “Swword” like Sean Connery on Jeopardy. That one will plague me for the rest of my days. Then the most frightful thing happened when I got halfway through the book. I realized….I WAS ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH THE BOOK! It was a cruel time warp that Dr. Seuss had created. Every word of gibberish stretched out to forty-two pages of dialogue. It was a black-hole of non-sense and I was being sucked in. The children sat there, laughed, and shouted, “More, More!” 

I finally finished reading and vowed never to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas again. I told the kids “bye” and I felt some relief. Dr. Seuss wasn’t that bad. He was like a nice roast beef. I enjoyed it as a kid and he never made me sad. Now how could I ever be so grumpy and mad. So I walked and thought and and I thought some more. I actually thought of something I hadn’t before. What if Dr. Seuss wasn’t such a chore. What if reading his books means a little be mor…Oh goodness now I’m doing it. 

I thanked the teacher and I was about to leave until someone shouted, “Don’t forget your other class in room 103!”  …….this could be habit forming!

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The second classroom didn’t have a reading area…or a reading chair.

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March 9, 2009 - Posted by | Ministry | , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. I absolutely love how the girl in the pink is completely lost. The kid in the white is picking his nose and the boy in the front is reading his Social Studies book. Other than that it looks like they loved it! Great post bro!

    Comment by Bryan | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. That settles it…in a couple of weeks on a certain Friday nite, you will have to read our girls a bedtime story! We’ll let you pick the author! lol!

    Can’t wait to see you both and spend some time together!

    Comment by Kam | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. I just got goosebumps on the back of my neck. If you had this hard of a time reading to these kids, what was it like when Pastor Al went????

    Comment by Nancy | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  4. Please don’t ever joke about toes being chopped off! Tommy does that enough for me.

    I felt the same way when I recently picked up a Dr. Seuss book to read my nephew. He’s only 3 mos. old and somehow I felt obligated to finish it. No more Dr. Seuss until he’s old enough to know I’m reading to him…if he’s lucky.

    Comment by Laura Jones | March 11, 2009 | Reply

    • toes aren’t that important anyway. No one ever sees them. You’ll be fine.

      Comment by Jason | March 11, 2009 | Reply

      • No, I’m pretty sure they’re a big deal. I think I read it on a t-shirt once.
        You can’t wear flip-flops if you don’t have them. I know you love you some flip-flops!

        Comment by Laura Jones | March 12, 2009


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