Smith/My Turn: Dr. Seuss, is it?
Dear Dr. Seuss,
First of all, are you really a doctor? Because if you are I have this thing growing on my pinky toe. It’s a little bit crusty and looks kind of like a baby carrot. If one were to grow a sixth toe wouldn’t that happen in utero and not at 56?
And speaking of six toes, what’s up with the character with 11 fingers in your submission, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”? Is this book aimed at people with disfigurements? If so, our early childhood specialist, Mr. Spock (we tried to hire Dr. Spock, but were told he was unavailable) commented that it would be “highly illogical” for a book about people’s abnormalities to be of interest to young children. He also grew a little green around the gills, or around his ears to be more exact, when he came to the part in your book in which a character has a bird stuck in its ear. Mr. Spock is very sensitive about anything that has to do with ears — (If you saw his, you would understand why).
We also have reservations about your second submission, “Green Eggs and Ham.” Again, Mr. Spock, perhaps a bit overly sensitive about misrepresenting the color green, wonders why the eggs need to be green. Why not yellow like normal eggs? Your point is still made; Sam is a pushy, little twit who no one likes, including us. Clearly the only reason Sam’s counterpart surrenders at the end of the story by saying that he likes green eggs and ham is because he has been so badgered by that little jerk Sam. This is exactly the opposite message we are trying to teach our young readers. Persistent pestering should not get a child his or her way, (unless it’s to get Daddy to take you to the swimming pool so Mommy can have a break). And 50 words? Just 50 different words in an entire book? Really Dr. Seuss, how will that improve a child’s vocabulary? Do you know the literacy rates in our country today?
On the positive side, all of us here at Enterprise Press greatly respect your expert use of meter, particularly you facility with trochaic tetrameter. Mother Goose has nothing on you. However, in the end we simply feel that your work will not be embraced by the next generation. We cannot imagine this kind of nonsensical writing having wide appeal.
editor and captain
PS — Maybe you should try a story about a cat? We hear they’re really big on the Internet these days.
Nancy Smith lives in Ashfield and has three grown kids, two fat Labs and one wonderful husband. Follow her blog at www.midlifelitter.blogspot.com/