The 8 Best Rhymes of Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss’s long-lost manuscript, What Pet Should I Get? will be out on July 28th. This never-before-seen book will be Seuss’s 10th with a rhyming title. And we doubt that the great rhymes stop at the cover.

You’d think that if you had to rhyme everything, it would limit your ability to make much sense. Well, Dr. Seuss was so legendary, he had it both ways. He wrote brilliant verse that is both completely sensible and delightfully silly. Here are just a few of the Seussian rhymes we adore.

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
23 years into his literary career, Dr. Seuss penned a couplet that sums up his whole oeuvre. As the first words in the book, they kick off 63 pages of fantastical creatures like the Yink and the Gox, and “funny things” like a fat fish in a yellow hat, a girl with 10 cats on her head, and a very wet pet. These were followed, of course, by dozens more books with even weirder, more wonderful things, which are beloved worldwide. Proving his point.

“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant…An elephant’s faithful, one hundred per cent!”
Horton Hatches the Egg
Is there any Dr. Seuss character more loveable than Horton? He gets tricked by a bird into sitting on a nest, and when he realizes she isn’t coming back, does he walk away? Not at all—he stays on that egg no matter how many animals tease him, or how many obstacles get in his way. Because he’s a faithful elephant. And as soon as he tells us this, we’re all faithful Horton fans.

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.”
The Cat in the Hat
Despite how you may feel about the cat’s methods (and if you’re a parent, you probably agree with the pet fish), you have to admit: he knows how to have fun. With his wise words, he teaches kids that there are better things to do on rainy days than stare out the window. You just have to invent them.

“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
This 1990 classic is everyone’s favorite graduation gift—not only because even the coolest, most cynical 18-year-olds have a soft spot for Seuss, but because his advice is whimsical, inspirational, and somehow still grounded in real life. This quote sums it up best. Recent grads are off to great places, and may even move mountains—though they should remember that nothing’s 100% certain. Just pretty darn close.

“‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
There may be no Dr. Seuss moment that’s created more goosebumps than when every Who in Whoville (the tall and the small) holds hands and sings (without any presents at all). And we’re not the only ones who are moved. When the Grinch sees this sight, he stands puzzling for three hours, and then utters these revelatory words. It’s the ending we’ve been hoping for, and the message we hope that all kids (even the ones as small as Cindy-Lou Who) take to heart.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
The Lorax
The story of The Lorax could’ve been a bummer—a beautiful world destroyed by the selfishness of industry. But thanks to a single remaining Truffula Tree seed and this simple rhyme, nature still has a fighting chance. And brilliantly, Dr. Seuss has left it to us (or “someone like” us) to spread the word. The smartest among us have been following his advice ever since.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is You-er than You!”
Happy Birthday to You!
Want to wish someone a happy birthday? Sure, you could do it yourself—but Dr. Seuss does it best. The book details the bizarre birthday rituals in Katroo, where a Birthday Bird delivers the best birthday message there’s ever been. It includes this feel-good rhyme, which can offer inspiration to anyone on any day of the year.

“When a fox is in the bottle where the tweetle beetles battle with their paddles in a puddle on a noodle-eating poodle, THIS is what they call…a tweetle beetle noodle poodle bottled paddled muddled duddled fuddled wuddled fox in socks, sir!”
Fox in Socks
Quotes you can write in a yearbook are all well and good. But sometimes it’s nice just to see what Dr. Seuss does best: tie up the tongues of parents and kids and leave us all catching our breaths, for generations.

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