The Top Shelf: ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’

March 10, 2012 Updated: October 8, 2018
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Random House)

March 2 marked the birthday of the late Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.

In celebration of the famous author’s contribution to the world of children’s literature, we add to The Top Shelf a book that illustrates Seuss’s uncanny ability to create an enjoyable read for the youngest of children while providing insight and inspiration to readers of any generation.

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

So begins Oh The Places You’ll Go celebrating, perhaps, a milestone in one’s life or conversely the everyday in an effort to implore one to “seize the day.”

In Seuss’s rollicking read, the reader follows a familiar illustration—a boy in his pajamas—as he navigates along his journey, choosing some paths over others.

“You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

Despite the optimism implied in the title, Seuss paints a picture that isn’t always rosy, including the inevitable struggles along the way.

“I’m sorry to say so, but, sadly it’s true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.”

Of course, the rhymes circle back to a message of encouragement and a push to get going.

“Kid you’ll move mountains. So … Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So … Get on your way.”

Young children will enjoy the boy’s travels and the wonders and obstacles he encounters along the way. The greater message will not be lost, however, on those with greater life experience.

An example of why Dr. Seuss is an important figure in the realm of children’s literature, Oh The Places You’ll Go is well deserving of its spot on The Top Shelf.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza