You're Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children

( 16 )

Overview

With his unmistakable rhymes and signature illustration style, Dr. Seuss creates a classic picture-book ode to aging in You're Only Old Once! On a visit to "the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair," readers will laugh with familiar horror at the poking and prodding and testing and ogling that go hand in hand with the dreaded appellation of "senior citizen." Though Dr. Seuss is known for his peerless work in books for children, this comical look at what it's like to get...

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Overview

With his unmistakable rhymes and signature illustration style, Dr. Seuss creates a classic picture-book ode to aging in You're Only Old Once! On a visit to "the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair," readers will laugh with familiar horror at the poking and prodding and testing and ogling that go hand in hand with the dreaded appellation of "senior citizen." Though Dr. Seuss is known for his peerless work in books for children, this comical look at what it's like to get older is ideal for Seuss fans of advanced years. In his own words, this is "a book for obsolete children." A perfect gift for retirement, birthdays, and holidays!

Dr. Seuss lightens the aches and pains of growing old with his inimitable wit and wisdom.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
I am thrilled about this book! How very clever! This is not the typical book that Dr. Seuss writes for children but rather a book for those of us who are getting on in years. The setting takes place in a clinic where an elderly man is waiting for and experiences a thorough physical exam. There is a doctor for everything and tests galore, and the man hates the sitting and waiting for what will come next. "…And if you're the type that gets finicky-finick, at this point you'll try to get out of that clinic. But they will outwit you as quick as a winick! The Quiz Doctor will catch you! They'll start questionnairing! They'll ask you, point blank, how your parts are all faring…." and "try to recall if your grandma hurt most in the spring or the fall. Did your cousins have dreadful wild nightmares at night? Did they suffer such ailments as Bus Drivers Blight, Chimney Sweep's Stupor, or Prune Picker's Plight?" I laughed out loud and read it several times, thinking of all the people I can give this to as a gift. The illustrations are hilarious and go perfectly with the text. I just cannot say enough good things about this book! Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394551906
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/1986
  • Series: Classic Seuss Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 23,206
  • Age range: 3 months - 18 years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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.

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

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Hilarious for adults, and intriguing for kids

    This book is fun to read over and over. Obviously written late in life, and rife with clever and comical views of the tribulations of the elderly patient. Kids like it too:)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    Great Gift for "Obsolete" Children

    This was a great B-day gift for my sister. We both grew up with Dr. Seuss books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Typical Seuss rhythm and rhyme, Atypical topic!

    I work with the elderly and disabled, and bought this book in celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday. We read it aloud to about a dozen people as part of a discussion about Dr. Seuss.

    It's cute and funny, but I worried as I was reading it that it might be a little depressing for them. It goes on & on about the hassles of being old or sick. I expected it to focus more on the good or fun aspects. Some people found it funny, but others didn't respond much. I think it's really a personality thing, so if you're thinking of buying it as a gift for an older person, make sure they *already* have a sense of humor and can laugh at their own misfortunes. This book will not make them feel better about being old, it will just rhymingly review all the procedures involved in being shuttled from doctor to doctor. It's more like a long amusing complaint about red tape and rigamarole(?) and ends with a mild, "not bad, I could be worse I guess" feeling.

    But.... it's Dr. Seuss... I feel guilty not being thrilled with something he wrote. The illustrative and writing styles are the same as the majority of his books; a twisty, winding, colorful path both visually and lyrically. It's fun in that way, it's just that the topic hits home pretty hard for some people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2009

    Great Gift for anyone of age

    This book is really cute. It makes light of some of the challenges or unpleasantries of getting older. It is found under "Humor" rather than with the other Dr. Seuss books in the children's section. I got it as a gift for my grandma who is 90.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    highly recommended - for seniors

    this is a book for the over-60 crowd. For most of us in that age group, it is a "been there, done that" experience. Without a chance to laugh at ourselves, what is there?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    A must have for Dr. Seuss fans.

    A great gift idea for birthdays, retirement gift ect. Will put a smile on the grumpiest grinch!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    Birthday Present Was a Hit!

    My sister loved it!

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  • Posted September 22, 2009

    Somewhat disappointing...

    I hoped this would be more clever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2008

    Perfect Gift

    This is the perfect gift for the adult who has everything. I have given several copies to friends on their birthdays and it is always the hit of the party. I always have an emergency copy on hand. As I grow old I so relate to the humor and wit of the book. In otherwords it is priceless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2008

    A reviewer

    A book for all ages to comfort the soul and lend solace to the fear of the medical experience. Uplifting and insightful! Appropriate for the adult child. A good book to have read to you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2000

    Cool,thats all,cool.

    Dr.Seuss' book 'Your only old once' is a really good book. It's for older kids because it has some words that are too big for young kids. Great gift for elders,70-90.(as a joke)FIVE STARS!! for reply e-mail limpytoad2001@aol.com BYE-BYE

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    Posted November 18, 2008

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    Posted February 16, 2009

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    Posted September 26, 2014

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    Posted July 25, 2009

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    Posted August 2, 2010

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