Fuse 8 n’ Kate: How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
When Kate said to me in a previous episode that I couldn’t name a classic Christmas children’s book the challenge was ON! But what to do? There are a lot of different choices, so why not start at the top? The last time we saw Dr. Seuss we were reading If I Ran the Zoo. Not an auspicious beginning for the usually good doctor. Now Kate had seen the animated special of the Grinch, but she had never seen the book. A shocker! In the course of things she manages to locate a case where Seuss got lazy and Xeroxed one of his two-page spreads (something I’d never noticed before). We also talk about Thurl Ravenscroft (and how dead he is), and odd Grinch theories, like the fact that his heart may expand and shrink regularly or, “One gets the idea that this may not have been the Grinch’s first scheme. I hate Fourth of July!” And are these chimneys essentially pneumatic tubes that suck up the bags? Oh, there’s more. I get to do Baby Got Back w/Grinch. Kate identifies a little too closely with his hatred of noise pollution. I get to point out that the Jim Carrey Grinch film had a key party.
I’m going to level with you. This was my favorite episode in a long time.
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– Check out the School Library Journal wikipedia page if you want to see what I look like with legs.
– Please note that as Kate rightly pointed out, the Grinch is not wearing shoes. So much for that theory about why he’s a jerk. And be the deciding vote on where his hands are: are those fat pockets or fur pockets?
– He has a dog but he has no pants. “Santa. Wears. Pants!” And look at all that fabric at his feet. He could easily have made pants for this.
– Considering how advanced Cindy Lou Who is when it comes to her vocabulary, I really do think Whos age faster than humans. Now watch as she does the twist! This is the image that freaked Kate out. Very Exorcist-ish.
– Kate’s tattoo everyone! The first pissed off mouse. I’m only barely seeing the bandana Kate is seeing, though.
– The image of Max pulling the sleigh. Why are there bananas hanging over the Grinch’s head? Why is the broken rope tied together? But that’s some kinda Grinch butt. “He does SO many squats.” And how did Kate miss the head sticking out of the sack? But that ain’t no Gootch. Because as you can see . . .
– Now the critter has tucked its head back in.
– Compare the next two spreads. Kate was right. Look at them. Seuss didn’t re-draw these Whos. They’re almost line for line the same. Except . . . look closer. We didn’t notice at the time, but there is one adult male Who dead smack in the center who suddenly appears in the second spread. Where did HE come from?
– This book appeared at #61 on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll.
– Matt Tavares, the artist, pointed out that this book does not have the color green inside the book. This is true, but check out the cover the Brits put on it:
– Ask and the universe will provide. Here is Zero Mostel reading The Grinch.
– And heck. While we’re on the subject, here’s Walter Matthau reading The Grinch.
– Halloween is Grinch Night! I still harbor a weird affection for this. Partly because Hans Conried (who starred in the live action Seuss film The 10,000 Fingers of Dr. T) did the Grinch’s voice.
– This is the happiest Max ever looks in this book. No one ever notices this.
– I asked if anyone could think of an unreliable narrator picture book. Hat tip to Sarah who remembered The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. Brilliant suggestion.
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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