Monday, December 16, 2019

Review - McElligot's Pool

McElligot's Pool
by Dr. Seuss
Date: 1947
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 64
Format: e-book
Source: library

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

It's fun reading some of these oldies. McElligot's Pool is even older than my parents! It's one of the first Dr. Seuss books I've seen that uses full-colour illustrations along with black-and-white ones.

This book is first and foremost a celebration of imagination. When Marco is told that he won't catch any fish in McElligot's Pool, he spins a wild tale about how the pool might be connected to a river or even the ocean, and from there he muses about all the various fish he might catch: everything from fish with checkerboard bellies to two-headed eels.

While it was interesting to see what Marco would come up with next, I found the book just a little too long for my taste. It's also slightly dated with the stereotypical depiction of Inuit, going so far as to use the term "Eskimo". But it was 1947, and it's unfair to judge books from the past against our current standards. (Look at it as a mini history lesson instead.)

This isn't my favourite Dr. Seuss title. It's okay, but the length is a little tiresome. (Picture books from this era seem to be about twice the length of our current standard of around 32 pages. Parents: you've been warned.)

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.29 out of 5

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