The first time I read Oh The Places You’ll Go! was when I was 22 and about to embark on my overseas adventures. A friend gave me a copy and I absolutely fell in love with it! In the two years I was away, I probably read it hundreds of times! It is the perfect pick-me-up book when you’re feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed and all these years later, its magic has still not faded.
Dr. Seuss has written this book in the second person (unusual for picture story books), meaning he writes to you, the reader as though you are the main character. You, are therefore, off on a great adventure and Dr. Seuss has lots of uplifting, realistic advice to give you. The book is full of typical Dr. Seuss nonsense words and playful rhymes, and is, in my opinion, completely charming.
Why I love it:
As I said above, this book is a great pick-me-up and a terrific self-esteem builder. I have a wall hanging in my kids’ room of words from the text: ‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.’ I just love these words and I love how every single time I read Oh The Places You’ll Go! I feel inspired, confident and capable. Another thing I absolutely adore about this book is that it doesn’t paint an unrealistic rosy picture of life. The text explains quite clearly, that sometimes bad things happen and sometimes you’ll feel not so great, but you will get through it. Although a children’s book, this is definitely one for the grown-ups too!
Themes to discuss with your child:
There are so many! A few stand-outs are:
- Adventuring and trying new things
- Being independent
- The need to sometimes just escape!
- Decision making
- Trusting yourself
- Having confidence in your own decisions
- Dealing with disappointments and set-backs
- Coping mechanisms
- Dark feelings
- Overcoming hard times
- Enjoying success
- Being lonely
- Facing up to problems
- Resilience and inner strength
I told you there were a lot!
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- Have you read any Dr. Seuss books before? Do you like them? Why/why not?
- The main character from the story is pictured three times on the front cover. What are the three things he is doing?
- Would you like to live the house, pictured on the cover? Why/why not?
- How does this story make you feel? Explain.
- Would you like to have an adventure like the one in the book?
- Where would you go?
- What is your favourite page in the book? Why?
- Was there a page that made you feel sad or scared? Which one? Explain your feelings.
- Do you ever get sad or scared when you are alone? Explain.
- What do you do when you feel sad or scared or when things don’t work out the way you want?
- What do you think Dr. Seuss means by the words: ‘Kid, you’ll move mountains!’?
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