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Posted April 15, 2001
Many young people are unsure about the proper balance between work and fun. As a result, they tend to overemphasize one or the other. Dr. Seuss has created a wonderful book here to relieve youngsters of the sense that they should work hard all of the time. This is an early book by Dr. Seuss, and it is written in prose rather than rhyme. Despite this, the prose often has a definite meter, and he sneaks in rhyming words now and again. The illustrations are predominately in black and white, but splashes of red are used for emphasis to good effect. The story is quite funny. The king's passion is to run around the kingdom on his red stilts. But he never does so until after putting in a full twelve hours of grueling work. Never was there a harder working king than Birtram. He even signs papers while taking a bath at five in the morning! He feels very responsible, because he kingdom is threatened by natural disaster if he lets down his guard. Who could begrudge such a fine king his fun? Well, there is one who does. Where could that lead? I also found the book very good for introducing the concept of how we all rely on one another for our well-being. For example, this story can also help a parent explain the need to go to work, despite a sincere desire to stay and play with her or his child. I think the book is good, too, for helping children think about what kind of work they might want to do when they are older. What benefit would they like others to receive from their work? How hard would they like to work? What difficulties would be bearable, and which would be too much? After you finish enjoying this book, I suggest that you and your child spend time planning how you can have more fun playing together, and still meet your responsibilities. You can also tell your child about different kinds of work that adults do, and what the stresses and strains are. Although no four year old is going to choose a vocation, it is never too soon to start providing the raw material for mental exploration of work alternatives. Most of us will spend more time working than anything else we will do in our lives except sleep! May you and your family find ways to play hard that energize and excite you to do your work well! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2001
I thought I had read all of Suess, if not as a reading parent, certainly as a child. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book at our library during a week featuring Dr. Suess books. I found all my childhood favorites and then came upon THE KING'S STILTS, one I had never read. My daughter and I fell in love with it immediately. I kept trying to read it with some rhythem and rhyme, but it is written in prose with just a hint at Suess' later genious with rhythem and rhyme. The story had appeal for my daughter because of the awesome patrol cats and I enjoy the story of King who has had his fun taken away. Its a good story for teaching 'Do the right thing' and all sorts of other good lessons about life and having fun. Its my daughter's birthday next week and she is getting a new book of THE KING'S STILTS and my husband is making her a pair of stilts which we will paint red. Get ready for stilt fun!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.