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The Butter Battle Book

The Butter Battle Book

4.5 31
by Dr. Seuss

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The Butter Battle Book, Dr. Seuss's classic cautionary tale, introduces readers to the important lesson of respecting differences. The Yooks and Zooks share a love of buttered bread, but animosity brews between the two groups because they prefer to enjoy the tasty treat differently. The timeless and topical rhyming text is an ideal way to teach young children


The Butter Battle Book, Dr. Seuss's classic cautionary tale, introduces readers to the important lesson of respecting differences. The Yooks and Zooks share a love of buttered bread, but animosity brews between the two groups because they prefer to enjoy the tasty treat differently. The timeless and topical rhyming text is an ideal way to teach young children about the issues of tolerance and respect. Whether in the home or in the classroom, The Butter Battle Book is a must-have for readers of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dr. Seuss chronicles the feud between the Yooks and the Zooks from slingshots through sophisticated weaponry, until each side has the capacity to destroy the world. The language amuses, the drawings are zesty and humorous, and the demand for this book will be large."--School Library Journal.

"Provocative, packs an allegorical punch. The parade of increasingly elaborate (and ridiculous) armaments makes a telling point."--Booklist.

Barnes & Noble Staff
Dr. Seuss, pseudonym for Theodor Seuss Geisel, is world renowned for his inventiveness and wit. His stories are instantly recognizable by their use of fantastic words, clever rhymes, and unusual creatures-drawn in his distinctive style.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Classic Seuss Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.92(w) x 11.31(h) x 0.44(d)
AD710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL—aka Dr. Seuss—is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. From The Cat in the Hat to Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, his iconic characters, stories, and art style have been a lasting influence on generations of children and adults. The books he wrote and illustrated under the name Dr. Seuss (and others that he wrote but did not illustrate, including some under the pseudonyms Theo. LeSieg and Rosetta Stone) have been translated into thirty languages. Hundreds of millions of copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world. Dr. Seuss’s long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys, and a Peabody.

From the Hardcover edition.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
March 2, 1904
Date of Death:
September 4, 1991
Place of Birth:
Springfield, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
La Jolla, California
B.A., Dartmouth College, 1925; Oxford University (no degree)

Customer Reviews

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Butter Battle Book 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
book-devuorer More than 1 year ago
If you have a little child in your life and you want to know what to read to them, then look no further for the solution has arrived! You'll love all of Dr.Seuss's stories from the "The cat in the hat" to "Green eggs and ham" each one of this has a wonderful moral that will educate even the youngest of kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thorne2112 More than 1 year ago
Exceptional morbid compared to the other works of Dr. Seuss but a necessary look into the way of world. It's outlook on the human use of war is absolutely fascinating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Awen More than 1 year ago
An important lesson is embedded in Seuss' tale of the Yooks and the Zooks: disagreements can quickly get out of hand. This lesson is of utmost value to young children who are developing social skills, and Seuss presents it in a way that children will remember for years. The book is also useful for K-12 history teachers because it provides an excellent and engaging analogy for the Cold War. Everyone should consider adding Dr. Suess' Butter Battle Book to their libraries; it brilliantly blends a story that will delight all ages with insightful lessons about history and life in general.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dangerd23 More than 1 year ago
This book is about two different tribes. One tribe is the zooks and the others are the yooks. The book is for all ages from kids to teens to grandparents. This book is a great book to read before bed or maybe a book report. it shows how war isn't always the answer. The words are very weird but that is why Dr Seuss is a great writer. He uses his imagination like a child. This book is amazing for all people and I recommend it to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was convinced that my grandmother (a retired children's librarian) read this to me growing up, even though my mother was certain it didn't exist. I ended up buying my mom a copy for her future grandchild collection to prove that Theodore Geissel did indeed write a children's book about Mutually Assured Destruction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book and I believe it is for many ages to read. Older students and adults will be able to draw parallels between the Zooks & the Yooks and the Cold War. Younger students can be taught to respect others' beliefs. Since it has no ending, I use it to teach my second graders how to predict.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This wonderful book, like so many of Dr. Seuss' books, is a cleverly veiled satire on the Cold War. The lessons taught in it are just as valuable to children as they are to adults. As a United States History teacher and a parent of young children, I find his books both a joy and a lesson in life. I've used this book in class as well as others like Yertle the Turtle (WWII-Hitler), The Sneeches (racism), and The Lorax (the environment). I enjoyed these books as a child and they have taken on new meaning as an adult.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best satire of an arms race that I have ever seen. It's effectiveness is enhanced because it all starts out at a very silly level of a border guard using his Snick-Berry switch. Then things go wrong because 'a very rude Zook by the name of VanItch snuck up and slingshotted my Snick-Berry switch!' The border guard for the Yooks tells his superior. The scientists get to work, and soon an improved weapon (a Triple-Sling Jigger) is available. The Zooks counter again, and so on it goes. The names, characteristics, and illustrations of the weapons are hilarious. Then, just when you are enjoying the folly, the scientists come up with the BITSY BIG-BOY BOOMEROO, which fits in the palm of a hand. Everyone has to get into a shelter underground because it is so dangerous. ''Grandpa!' I shouted. 'Be careful Oh, gee! Who's going to drop it? Will you . . . ? Or will he . . . ? . . . We'll see. We will see . . . .'' To go from that silliness to that horror in such a short number of pages is an amazingly effective job of story telling. The book also explores how such conflicts are caused by lack of communication. There's a wall between the Yooks and the Zooks. Over the years, it gets higher and higher. So they can see a little about each other, but not talk. From what they see, they are astonished that one side eats their bread and butter with the butter-side up, while the other eats with the butter-side down. I thought that was a pretty interesting way to capture the kind of small differences that often lead to border wars. Consider the former Yugoslavian states. The primary drawback of such a story for children is that it is a chilling tale. Visions of mutual destruction are not exactly what I would want to read to a small child just before bed. However, it may be appropriate for some children who are very violent in their play and need to be reined in a little. I would suggest that it be read early in the day, however, even in such a case. For children who are sensitive and easily frightened, this book should probably be read much later in life than age 8. If this were a movie, I would suggest at least a PG-13 rating, and possibly an R. Definitely, every adult should read this book. We still live in a world where these issues are current. I hope that someday this book will seem quaint and obsolete as a characterization of human beings. Until it does, the book should be sharing its message broadly. After you have finished enjoying the book, I suggest that you consider how you can help promote international understanding. Perhaps you can at least find someone to correspond with by e-mail on the other side of the world. Better yet, can you lend a helping hand somehow? Live long and prosper . . . because of friendly, cooperative competition! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Guest More than 1 year ago
In The Butter Battle Book, Dr. Seuss masterfully relates his thoughts on the nuclear arms race. The disagreement between the Yooks and the Zooks over how they butter their bread--one 'butter-side up' and the other 'butter-side down'--turning into a battle shows Dr. Seuss' dislike for superficial disputes. The Yooks and the Zooks hurry to develop more powerful weapons, until . . . I guess you'll have to read the book. The underlying theme to the book is the absurdity of battle; Dr. Seuss tries to convey that people must overcome their pride to live in peace. Allusions to the Cold War like the wall dividing the Yooks and Zooks add to the realistic element that most of Dr. Seuss' books lack. Overall, The Butter Battle Book is an enjoyable read for all ages, and has extra delight for those who have studied the Cold War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr Suess has a great talent for explaining complicated issues in terms that even a child could understand. His way of simplifying the tensions of the Cold War in The Butter Battle Book allows the reader to see the true nature of American conflict with other nations. This book represents several of the key issues in the Cold War. The tension between the nations involved in it created a fear so grand that its implications involved world destruction. The ending of The Butter Battle Book symbolized the heights to which nerves brought the Cold War. In addition, the story also symbolizes the element of propaganda in the War. The opposing sides in the book no longer remember what they are truly fighting for; propaganda serves as their only reason. In fact, the book itself represents and element of propaganda in its anti-war statement. Ultimately, this tale is important for both children and adults. On the literal level, it is a simple story of opponents and their fight; symbolically, it is the tale of the Cold War as a whole.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Butter Battle Book is a brilliant work of political satire. While teaching children the virtues of tolerance and cooperation, The Butter Battle Book is aimed more at parents. The conflict between the butter side-uppers and their enemies, is a thinly veiled depiction of the nuclear arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States. Author, Dr. Seuss, masterfully reduces the Cold War to it's essence, revealing the banality and hypocricy of the conflict. By reducing the nuclear arms race to such a simplistic and childish foundation, Seuss effectively conveys his anti-war message. The Butter Battle Book teaches both children and adults alike the importance of accpetance. A must read for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While the style of this book clearly appeals to young children, its content is intended for all audiences. Using his signature sing-song style, Suess makes the evils of stereotypes and violence accessible to kids while at the same time demonstrating to adults how absurd it was for the nation to allow these themes to create the Cold War. The fact that the Butter Battle is such a thinly disguised allusion to this period in history reinforces how silly Suess considers the whole ordeal. If it can be that easily modified into a children's story, then it obviously was not terribly important to begin with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Seuss is a fantastic author; he has imagination, story-telling abilities, and a wonderful and clever sense of political activism. I was telling my history teacher about all the not-so-hidden political messages in all of his works and this work is the perfect example of Dr. Seuss's writing style. The Butter Battle Book has many different levels for what is so often called a children's book from an acclaimed so-called children's author. The battle between Yooks and Zooks over which way butter goes on bread gives children a good, simple, but true story about dealing with petty differences in a constructive way. Otherwise, bad things can happen, like war. That meaning is very good for children to learn and this is a great book to teach kids with. However, adults reading this book can see the obvious historical parallels and the deeper implications of the story line. The pettiness behind the conflict of the Cold War is Dr. Seuss's vehicle for conveying the astounding destructive potential behind a war where the enemies lose sight of their true goals and meaninglessly try to 'out do' each other. The war ends up getting fought for the wrong reasons and something that we will forever regret and can never take back may happen. This is a very real danger and the prejudice attached to battles like the one in this book eat away at our morals, our societies, and our motives. Dr. Seuss has done the world a wonderful lesson by showing this to children and adults alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although The Better Butter Book is seemingly a children¿s book complete with Suess illustrations and tongue twisting rhymes, it is truly a book meant for the adult reader. The book has the dual purpose of not only teaching youngsters to love and accept others ignoring differences but it also works as a commentary on the idiocy of war. The book delves into political trends, which have occurred through the past century, and more specifically focuses on the arms race. By stripping the events of their complexity, Suess works to simplify the issues involved in the conflict thus alerting the reader to the ridiculous nature of our ¿diplomatic¿ actions. By placing the arms race in the juvenile setting of boys attempting to one-up each other, he makes clear his feelings that the hostilities of both countries were childish to the extreme. Suess did a great job not just simplifying the arms race into events children can identify with and parents can more readily understand, but he was able to write a children¿s book that not only teaches children but informs their parents. It¿s a great book on so many levels!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Butter Battle Book is a great way to teach both children and their parents about the events of the cold war. Although Dr. Suess puts certain aspects of the Cold War into a picture book, the message is not lost. The Butter Book does well to teach anyone who reads it about the absurdity of certain events of the Cold War, such as the nuclear arms race. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for an easy way to understand the main themes of the Cold War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very simplistic, yet powerful book. Dr. Seuss weaves his views on the nuclear arms race and peaceful coexistence into a very straight forward, easy to understand plot in which two opposing fictional groups dispute over how the other group butters their bread. This is a great book because it does not bombard the reader with technicalities about Dr. Seuss' view, but rather seeks to portray an overall message of tolerance for other's viewpoints and peace. Children are able to see the message clearly and are taught that differing views are acceptable and should not be viewed with downcast eyes. Adults are also taught the same lesson, although the lesson they see may relate more closely or specifically to events such as the arms race and war with the Soviets. Overall, Dr. Seuss does a tremndous job of executing his message with clarity and simplicity. The book is extremely effective.