McElligot's Pool

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Overview

Imagination runs wild in this Caldecott Honor-winning tale featuring Dr. Seuss's inimitable voice and hysterical illustrations. The first Seuss title to feature full-color art on every other page, this adventurous picture book tells of Marco-who first imagined an extraordinary parade in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street-as he daydreams of all the possibilities that await him while he fishes in McElligot's Pool. Optimistic and exciting, this tale is the perfect bait, and readers young and old will be ...

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Overview

Imagination runs wild in this Caldecott Honor-winning tale featuring Dr. Seuss's inimitable voice and hysterical illustrations. The first Seuss title to feature full-color art on every other page, this adventurous picture book tells of Marco-who first imagined an extraordinary parade in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street-as he daydreams of all the possibilities that await him while he fishes in McElligot's Pool. Optimistic and exciting, this tale is the perfect bait, and readers young and old will be hooked on this fish-tastic favorite.

Who knows what fantastic fish might fish in McElligot's Pool! "Rare and wonderful imaginings are told in the author-artist's inimitable rhyme and are shown in hilariously funny pictures."--Booklist. ALA Notable Book; Caldecott Honor Book. Full-color illustrations. Ages 4-8.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rare and wonderful imaginings are told in the author-artist's inimitable rhyme and are shown in hilariously funny pictures."—Booklist.  
Children's Literature
In this colorful picture book, a boy named Marco goes fishing in a small pond called McElligot's Pool. As he sits waiting for a bite, a farmer calls him a fool and says "You'll never catch fish in McElligot's Pool!" Marco, however, refuses to be discouraged and spends the rest of the story describing all the fish that could be coming to McElligot's Pool from the ocean. The story ends with Marco still fishing and the farmer scratching his beard and looking confused. The use of color and illustrations blur the line between fantasy and reality during Marco's story, creating one of the most interesting aspects of the book. The text is made up of catchy rhymes and intriguing fish descriptions. The pictures complement the text and make the fish descriptions seem real. Interestingly, Seuss illustrates every other page in black and white. At the beginning of the story when Marco sits by the pond, the black and white emphasizes the concrete reality of the Marco talking to the farmer. After page one, every other page is in color. The color magnifies Marco's fantasy about all of the fish, making them seem beautiful and real. At the same time, the black and white pages make Marco's fish descriptions seem realistic. Seuss's use of the black-and-white pictures during Marco's whimsical descriptions in the text could be his way of toning down the fantasy and bringing it into the context of every day life. The use of color to blend reality and fantasy also emphasizes optimism in the story. The farmer was probably right in telling Marco that he will "never catch fish in McElligot's Pool." With the clever use of color and illustrations, however, Dr. Seuss undermines the fisherman's certainty and makesMarco's claim that there might be fish in McElligot's Pool believable. McElligot's Pool sends the message that life is not always as it seems, that it is not as simple as black and white. It portrays the optimistic and hopeful message that miracles can happen, even in a place like McElligot's Pool. Without Dr. Suess's expert use of color in his illustrations to emphasize the text, this message would not have been nearly as effective. 1996 (orig. 1947), Random House,
— Jenny Pendleton <%ISBN%>0394800834
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385379069
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Series: Classic Seuss Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 61,655
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodor Seuss Geisel-aka Dr. Seuss-is, quite simply, one of the most beloved children's book authors of all time. The forty-four 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.

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.

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    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

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    Where does water go?

    An interesting introduction to the marvelous underground possibilities for water. Also, a chance to see how easily water, underground and otherwise, can be affected by our surroundings. A fun read with a deeper meaning ... gotta love Dr. Seuss.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    First book I remember, 1952

    I love the idea of this book, it taught me that everything is "connected" to everything else.

    My first memory is of getting lost when I was two years old and when I came to a stream (drainage ditch behind our house in California), I couldn't wade across it because the "sea monster" might get me. Turned out after many years therapy 50 years later, the sea monster was a kindly, smiling whale at the end of this book. But my mother died in 1953, hence the sea monster in 1952.

    It's a book about continuity and I think good for children and adults. Reminds me that what children see isn't necessarily what we think they see.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2001

    The Pleasures of Youthful Optimism

    This book sets up a contrast between the sour pessimism of an adult farmer and the unbounded optimism of a boy. The farmer finds the boy with his fishing line dangling in a small water-filled crack in the earth. 'You're sort of a fool! You'll never catch fish in McElligot's Pool!' As you can imagine, youngster often take that as a challenge to keep doing what they are doing, and this one certainly did. His fertile imagination soon fills the world with opportunity for good fishing. 'This pool might be bigger Than you or I know!' He goes on to imagine that it could connect underground all the way to the sea and contain many varieties of fish (Dog Fish, Catfish, or 'even a fish made of strawberry jelly' not to mention one with a pinwheel-like tail, another with fins like a sail, and many many more). The book's core is a series of fantastic fish, each more remarkable than the last. The most exciting one to me is a THING-A-MA-JIGGER (that's much bigger than a whale). Having thought about all of these fish, the boy ponders, 'Oh, the sea is so full of a number of fish, If a fellow is patient, he might get his wish!' But, the boy is still there with the little pool. What else is he thinking? He's actually congratulating himself for being so wise. 'And that's why I think That I'm not such a fool When I sit here and fish In McElligot's Pool!' That, of course, is the downside of optimism. You can spend a lot of time doing things that make little sense, in hopes they will pan out. Research has shown that optimists vastly outperform pessimists. The difference seems to be that optimists try more things, and some of them work! I strongly urge you to share this book with your child and anyone else who needs more optimism. The story will be like Dumbo's magic feather in providing confidence to try. After you and your child have enjoyed this book many times, I suggest that you discuss other ways to encourage appropriate optimism. For example, you can ask other people what has worked well. You can also imagine what perfection would be like and then work backward to how you might capture some of it. In having these conversations, you will be arming your child with many good tools for employing limitless optimism to achieve much more! Look on the bright side, always! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2000

    My Favorite Book

    This was my absolute favorite book when I was a young child. Great color and black and white illustrations and an amusing story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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