Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

Overview

Started by Dr. Seuss, finished by Jack Prelutsky, and illustrated by Lane Smith, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! is a joyous ode to individuality starring unsinkable teacher Miss Bonkers and the quirky Diffendoofer School (which must prove it has taught its students how to think—or have them sent to dreary Flobbertown). Included is an introduction by Dr. Seuss's longtime editor explaining how the book came to be and reproductions of Dr. Seuss's original pencil sketches and hand-printed notes for the book—a true find...

See more details below
Hardcover
$13.20
BN.com price
(Save 22%)$17.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (45) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $10.12   
  • Used (35) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

Started by Dr. Seuss, finished by Jack Prelutsky, and illustrated by Lane Smith, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! is a joyous ode to individuality starring unsinkable teacher Miss Bonkers and the quirky Diffendoofer School (which must prove it has taught its students how to think—or have them sent to dreary Flobbertown). Included is an introduction by Dr. Seuss's longtime editor explaining how the book came to be and reproductions of Dr. Seuss's original pencil sketches and hand-printed notes for the book—a true find for all Seuss collectors!  Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith pay homage to the Good Doctor in their own distinctive ways, the result of which is the union of three one-of-a-kind voices in a brand-new, completely original book that is greater than the sum of its parts. For all of us who will never forget our school days and that special teacher, here is a book to give and to get.  

The students of Diffendoofer School celebrate their unusual teachers and curriculum, including Miss Fribble who teaches laughing, Miss Bonkers who teaches frogs to dance, and Mr. Katz who builds robotic rats.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

NY Times Book Review
The book is sure to make many friends in the younger school-age crowd.
Family Fun
This quirky posthumous collaboration has all the earmarks of yet another classic.
New York Times Book Review
The book is sure to make many friends in the younger school-age crowd.
Chicago Parent
If you thought nothing could top Geisel's last book, Oh, the Places You'll Go! — think again. Read Diffendoofer Day with your children and talk about what is most worth learning.
Parents Editors
Dr. Seuss would be proud.
Parents Editors
Dr. Seuss would be proud.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
When Theodor Seuss Geisel died in 1991, he left behind an unfinished manuscript about a teacher he named Miss Bonkers. Janet Schulman had been his editor for eleven years and at first she didn't know what could be done with the fourteen pages of sketches and notes. When she realized that the basis of the story was a celebration of individuality and creative thinking, she decided to ask poet Jack Prelutsky and illustrator Lane Smith to finish the book. A section titled "How This Book Came To Be" contains background information and the original words and drawings. It is apparent from this that Prelutsky and Smith did more than finish the book. In a way, they collaborated with the beloved children's book writer, Dr. Seuss. It often seems unfair to publish a work the author never had a chance to rewrite and complete, and questionable to have another writer take over the job. However, this book works and children will enjoy the sing-song verse and the fanciful illustrations of the corridors and characters of Diffendoofer School. Dr. Seuss' drawings appear here and there and everywhere throughout the book as does his spirit.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The teachers at Diffendoofer School educate with creative abandon and boundless joy until the principal announces that the students will have to take a standardized test. If they do not do well, the school will be torn down and they will have to go to Flobbertown. "Not Flobbertown!" we shouted,/ And we shuddered at the name,' For everyone in Flobbertown/ Does everything the same." Miss Bonkers calms her students, the school gets the highest test scores and the children learn happily ever after. This is the perfect gift for a teacher who gives the gift of real learning to a student.
School Library Journal
The original talents of Prelutsky and Smith bring an unfinished Dr. Seuss story to life -- and what a story it is! The tale revolves around Diffendoofer School, a place where teachers make their own rules and students are taught to think. Their curriculum is an unusual one, covering such topics as 'smelling,' 'laughing,' and 'how to tell a cactus from a cow,' and the school is staffed by people who break all the stereotypes. When the principal informs the students that they must pass a rigorous test or risk being sent to dreary Flobbertown, the tension is palpable, but the inimitable Miss Bonkers is certain they'll pass. In fact, they receive the highest score, saving their school and their rather unorthodox education as well.

The story fairly jumps off the page, as do the bright, exuberant collage and oil illustrations, which look like a combination of the familiar Seussian style and Smith's own. A sense of fun reigns supreme, and school comes off looking like a great place to be. Dr. Seuss's well-known books and characters and even Ted Geisel himself make cameo appearances throughout the work. The editor's notes on the process of creating the book include original sketches and ideas from Geisel's notebooks. This outstanding work is a must for all collections. Buy extra copies-and be sure to include one for the professional shelf as well. It's a great tribute to the importance of creative thinking in the classroom. -- Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

Horn Book Magazine
After Dr. Seuss's death, editor Janet Schulman retrieved the unfinished manuscript on which this book is based: 14 pages of sketches, snippets of verse, and jottings of names -- but no plot. With becoming respect for both Seuss unique creativity and their own, Prelutsky and Smith have brought this fragment to fruition in a style that does credit to all three artists. Prelutsky's was the easier task. Long a master of the kind of rib-tickling verse that Seuss pioneered, he has come up with a satisfying conflict: if the kids at freewheeling Diffendoofer School don't pass a demanding test, they'll be sent to school in dreary, regimented Flobbertown. Fortunately, their wacky teachers have taught them how to think a worthy message, though it's hard to fathom just how the pictured classroom activities would have that result, but never mind; therefore, they pass with a resounding '10,000,000%' Since Seuss's entire manuscript is reproduced here as an endnote, it's possible to see how Prelutsky has folded it into his own deliciously Seussian text, which features a preposterous school staff 'Miss Twining teaches tying knots / In neckerchiefs and noodles, / And how to tell chrysanthemums / From miniature poodles,' while librarian Miss Loon '...hides behind the shelves / And often cries out, 'LOUDER!' / When we're reading to ourselves'. Illustrations were a greater challenge. Though the absurdity of Smith's art has always been akin to Seuss' antic spirit, his mixed-media collages, with their smoothly rounded forms, complex textures, and subtle palette, are a far cry from the deceptive simplicity of Seuss's deft, airy cartoons. Smith's illustrations here are like translations: satirical renditions, in his own distinctive, sophisticated style, of such zany folk and weirdly expressive settings as Seuss might have dreamed up to finish this book. As an additional tribute, Smith tucks a number of Seuss drawings e.g., a surprised Horton into his pictures. It works, and it's fun, though comparing the whimsical energy of Seuss' sketches with Smith's polished art is a telling reminder of what made the good Doctor's work so popular, and so great. Grown-ups will enjoy figuring out who's responsible for what here. Kids will simply delight in the teachers' outlandish capers. What better honor could be paid to the memory of Dr. Seuss?
Editors Parents
Dr. Seuss would be proud.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
A testament to the value of being different, a fine tribute to the legendary Seuss.
Chicago Parent
If you thought nothing could top Geisel's last book, Oh, the Places You'll Go! -- think again. Read Diffendoofer Day with your children and talk about what is most worth learning.
Midwest Book Review
Dr. Seuss' Horray For Diffendoofer Day! here receives help from Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith as it explores the zany Diffendoofer School and the special teacher Miss Bonkers who works there. This strange school will delight the young enthusiast of rhyme.
Kirkus Reviews
When Theodor Geisel died in 1991, he left behind a half-sketched idea for a book, an ode to joy and eccentricity in education. Enter Prelutsky and Smith to finish the project, about a school run by a gaggle of latitudinarians—'Miss Bobble teaches listening,/Miss Wobble teaches smelling,/Miss Fribble teaches laughing,/And Miss Quibble teaches yelling.' Their charges take to the curriculum like bees to honey, until the dour principal Mr. Lowe ('We think he wears false eyebrows. In fact, we're sure it's so. We've heard he takes them off at night I guess we'll never know') informs them that they must pass a standardized test, or the school will be closed and the students shuffled off to dreary Flobbertown. They pass muster, wholesale, and send choruses of the 'Diffendoofer Song' to the heavens.

The magic here is in the marriage of Seuss, Prelutsky, and Lane: The Prelutsky voice is delightfully obvious, but he has blended whole slices of Seussian verse into his lines, while Smith has laced the crazy, deliciously colored artwork with cameos of characters and books that any of Dr. Seuss's fans will recognize. A lengthy afterword (containing reproductions of Geisel's early drafts) by his editor, Janet Schulman, explains how the book evolved. It's a model collaboration, because the spirits involved—including Schulman's—are so obviously kindred.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679890089
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 29,331
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 11.31 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

For 30 years, Jack Prelutsky’s inventive poems have inspired legions of children to fall in love with poetry. His outrageously silly poems have tickled even the most stubborn funny bones, while his darker verses have spooked countless late-night readers. His award-winning books include Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast, The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, and The Beauty of the Beast.

While attending a Bronx, New York, grade school, Prelutsky took piano and voice lessons and was a regular in school shows. Surprisingly, Prelutsky developed a healthy dislike for poetry due to a teacher who “left me with the impression that poetry was the literary equivalent of liver. I was told it was good for me, but I wasn’t convinced.”

In his early twenties, Prelutsky spent six months drawing imaginary animals in ink and watercolor. One evening, he wrote two dozen short poetry verses to accompany each drawing. A friend encouraged him to show them to an editor, who loved his poems (although not his artwork!) and urged him to keep writing. Prelutsky listened and he is still busy writing.
Jack Prelutsky lives on Mercer Island in Washington with his wife, Carolynn.

Biography

Now that generations of readers have been reared on The Cat in the Hat and Fox in Socks, it's easy to forget how colorless most children's books were before Dr. Seuss reinvented the genre. When the editorial cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1936, the book was turned down by 27 publishers, many of whom said it was "too different." Geisel was about to burn his manuscript when it was rescued and published, under the pen name Dr. Seuss, by a college classmate.

Over the next two decades, Geisel concocted such delightfully loopy tales as The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and Horton Hears a Who. Most of his books earned excellent reviews, and three received Caldecott Honor Awards. But it was the 1957 publication of The Cat in the Hat that catapulted Geisel to celebrity.

Rudolf Flesch's book Why Johnny Can't Read, along with a related Life magazine article, had recently charged that children's primers were too pallid and bland to inspire an interest in reading. The Cat in the Hat, written with 220 words from a first-grade vocabulary list, "worked like a karate chop on the weary little world of Dick, Jane and Spot," as Ellen Goodman wrote in The Detroit Free Press. With its vivid illustrations, rhyming text and topsy-turvy plot, Geisel's book for beginning readers was anything but bland. It sold nearly a million copies within three years.

Geisel was named president of Beginner Books, a new venture of Random House, where he worked with writers and artists like P.D. Eastman, Michael Frith, Al Perkins, and Roy McKie, some of whom collaborated with him on book projects. For books he wrote but didn't illustrate, Geisel used the pen name Theo LeSieg (LeSieg is Geisel spelled backwards).

As Dr. Seuss, he continued to write bestsellers. Some, like Green Eggs and Ham and the tongue-twisting Fox in Socks, were aimed at beginning readers. Others could be read by older children or read aloud by parents, who were often as captivated as their kids by Geisel's wit and imagination. Geisel's visual style appealed to television and film directors, too: The animator Chuck Jones, who had worked with Geisel on a series of Army training films, brought How the Grinch Stole Christmas! to life as a hugely popular animated TV special in 1966. A live-action movie starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch was released in 2000.

Many Dr. Seuss stories have serious undertones: The Butter Battle Book, for example, parodies the nuclear arms race. But whether he was teaching vocabulary words or values, Geisel never wrote plodding lesson books. All his stories are animated by a lively sense of visual and verbal play. At the time of his death in 1991, his books had sold more than 200 million copies. Bennett Cerf, Geisel's publisher, liked to say that of all the distinguished authors he had worked with, only one was a genius: Dr. Seuss.

Good To Know

The Cat in the Hat was written at the urging of editor William Spaulding, who insisted that a book for first-graders should have no more than 225 words. Later, Bennett Cerf bet Geisel $50 that he couldn't write a book with just 50 words. Geisel won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, though to his recollection, Cerf never paid him the $50.

Geisel faced another challenge in 1974, when his friend Art Buchwald dared him to write a political book. Geisel picked up a copy of Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! and a pen, crossed out each mention of the name "Marvin K. Mooney," and replaced it with "Richard M. Nixon." Buchwald reprinted the results in his syndicated column. Nine days later, President Nixon announced his resignation.

The American Heritage Dictionary says the word "nerd" first appeared in print in the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo: "And then, just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo / And bring back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo / A Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!" The word "grinch," after the title character in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is defined in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as a killjoy or spoilsport.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Theodor Seuss Geisel (full name); also: Theo LeSieg, Rosetta Stone
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 2, 1904
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      September 4, 1991
    2. Place of Death:
      La Jolla, California

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    A great read aloud for teachers who give standardized tests

    I am a 4th grade teacher and I read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day every year right before my students take their standardized high stakes test. It is funny, engaging, and the kids love the silly poetry. What's more, it helps my students to feel confident during an otherwise extremely stressful time for them. We do several projects with this book. We talk about multiple intelligences and activities that teach us how to be good thinkers, and we also do a fun art project where the students design their dream schools. This is a great book for teachers, parents, and students of all ages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Teachers love this book, too!

    I read this book to my fellow teachers in my last faculty meeting before I retired after 33 years in the classroom. I challenged each of them to become that special teacher. This book is an excellent motivator, and it reminded me to do something special in the lives of my high school students. Many of my fellow teachers told me that they had been inspired by the words of Dr. Seuss. What a wonderful experience!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    Good for teachers

    As a teacher, I use this book before state testing every year.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2001

    A Seuss-Based Collage

    This book is as interesting for the section that explains its origins as it is the for story and illustrations themselves. Before he died, Dr. Seuss was working on a book about teaching. He couldn't get it quite right because 'Miss Bonkers was driving him bonkers.' After his death, the material was passed along to his long-time editor who filed it away. One day she had the good thought of inviting talented poet, Jack Prelutsky, and outstanding illustrator, Lane Smith, to complete the project. The book shows you the Seuss sketches and his work in progress. It's really quite interesting. Prior to the origins section, you get the actual story. The result is a book that is a combination of wonderful children's story and multifaceted paean to Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss's books are wonderful for celebrating differences among children. This book moves beyond that excellent base to point out the benefits of differences among adults as well as children. The creation of Flobbertown (where everyone does everything the same, and life is dreary) is a stroke of genius, for it creates an archetype to react against. Near when the poem begins, a student is speaking. 'My teacher is Miss Bonkers, She's as bouncy as a flea . . . I'm glad she teaches me.' That's the sort of sincere flattery all teachers should receive from their students. Miss Bonkers's specialization is summarized as follows, 'Miss Bonkers teaches EVERYTHING!' She's a free spirit, as evidenced by her use of a trampoline. She does her own thing, and the principal (who worries a lot) 'treats her like a queen.' Most teachers would love that kind of support, as well! The rest of the teaching and support staff are equally unique and interesting in their own ways. While many children's stories stick just to the main story line, this one develops many characters to establish a sense of place and context that build a very solid base for the plot. Working from 'some characters, a setting, and a few verses' the story revolves around the benefits of teaching children to think for themselves. This is a good theme, because you can use it as a starting point to encourage your children do the same. The story does a nice job of providing an interesting and amusing tale, with contemporary references that make it more relevant. As much as I liked the poetry and its imaginative interweaving with Dr. Seuss's original thoughts, I must say I was even more impressed with the illustrations. You will see a vivid, exciting, Seuss-like world, yet this place is distinct from Dr. Seuss. But, Lane Smith incorporated many images from Dr. Seuss into the details for the illustrations, like cut-outs from the newspaper in a Picasso collage. The result is rather intriguing and richer than either style alone would be. After you have finished enjoying the story with your child, I suggest that you encourage your child to notice the 'invisible' people in her or his life. What are they like? What are they focusing on? How can thinking for themselves make a difference? Encourage independent thinking! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2007

    Another ageless classic

    Dr. Suess has always written classic children books, young children today are still enchanted by his books. The first book I ever read [by myself] was 'Horton Hears a Who' by Dr. Suess. From then on I have enjoyed reading. It has been a favorite book of mine from then on. 'Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!' was read to me by my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Amburgey. We read the book in class, during Dr. Suess week. After reading the book, we were to write a report on it. I finished my report in ten minutes and it was a whole page long. This book is an amazing book for all ages. Today this book is still the only book that puts me to sleep at night, and its the only book that I could never get tired of reading it. I love this book. I reccomend anyone reading this review should definatly read this book. I also reccomend that any teacher [of any grade] reading this, should get the book and read it out aloud to his or her class. Dr. Suess was a literay genuis. He was an amazing author, and an amazing rhymist. He is why so many young children enjoy reading. This book, though he did not finish it by himself and had help from Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith, is just another classic from Dr. Suess.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2007

    HOORAY FOR DIFFENDOOFER DAY!

    This book is one of my favorite Dr.Seuss books. My first favorite Dr.Seuss book is Oh the places you'll go. I would reccomend this book to everybody! READ THIS BOOK! READ THIS BOOK! People of all ages will love this book even teachers will love it!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2006

    Funny

    i did a report on this book. it was one of the most fun book reports i have ever written

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2004

    Absolutely divine, perfect, wonderful, joyous

    This book really is my favorite picture book. The rhyming and the flow of the words is excellent and the whole story is great and the pictures are neat and you feel good after you've read it. I would love to go to that school!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2000

    Clever

    This is a very encouraging book whether you are a student, or a teacher, or a parent. It emphasizes the most important goal of an educator - but you have to read it to find out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2000

    His zaniest book yet.

    I believe that this book can be enjoyed by all ages. It has the great rymes of Dr. Seuss with the enjoyable lyrics of Prelutsky. Over all, i think this book is the best book out by these two people. A great combination.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    Great gift for Ed-Grad

    This book is a wonderful gift idea for a graduate with an education degree, particularly elementary education. It's inspirational and makes a nice addition to their children's book collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2000

    Good Book to Read Right Before a Test!

    If you are about to have a test read this book to pump you up before a big test!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    it's not very good

    i didn't like the book that much not enough detail

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)