Tag: Cat in the Hat

116 Years of Dr. Seuss

Whether you learned about environmentalism for the first time with The Lorax or enjoyed a day in with The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss has impacted children for generations. From the publication of his first children’s book And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street in 1937, it was clear that Dr. Seuss was going to be a mainstay in children’s literature. Seuss’ birthday is one of the biggest birthday celebrations in schools and libraries across the country. For those who are out of school, these lesser-known Dr. Seuss facts are not likely to be celebrated at the kids section of your local library.

 

Why Seuss Added the Doctor

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By now, most people know that Dr. Seuss was a pen name for Theodore Seuss Giesel. Giesel began using the name Seuss while he was in college, but didn’t add the doctor until later. His father had always wanted him to be a medical doctor, but Seuss clearly knew that wouldn’t happen. Rather than let his father down completely, Dr. Seuss became one of the most famous doctors of the past hundred years, whether or not he practiced medicine.

Dr. Seuss’ Dad might be even more interesting

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Even though Giesel’s father wanted him to become a man of medicine, he had his own unique career path. Giesel’s father was a professional beer brewmaster and was also a competitive marksman. Because of Prohibition, Seuss’ father had to change career paths pretty quickly. Maybe this is why he wanted his son to be in a more steady profession.

 

Political Statements in Doctor Seuss (or not)

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Lots of Dr. Seuss books are clearly political, from the environmental messages in The Lorax to the anti-fascist antics of Yertle the Turtle.  The famous line “a person’s a person, no matter how small” from Horton Hears a Who! has been used to support some controversial political causes.  Although this line was originally intended to help young readers understand that all people are important, the quote was used by a variety of pro-life groups to support their views. Dr. Seuss never made any statements about his stance of pro-life vs pro-choice, but he did threaten to sue one anti-abortion group for using the phrase on their letterhead. Seuss and his wife Audrey have both expressed that they don’t appreciate when famous Seuss quotes are taken out of context to support causes that they were never intended to support.

Seuss is Not the Only Pseudonym

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In addition to publishing more than sixty books under the name Dr. Seuss, Giesel also published a number of books under the name Theo LeSieg. His famous book Ten Apples Up On Top was not originally a Dr. Seuss book because it was published under a Theo LeSieg, even though now the book bares the name Dr. Seuss. In 1975, Giesel even wrote a book called Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! under the name Rosetta Stone.

 

Even Dr. Seuss Had His Fun!

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While attending Dartmouth, Seuss was editor-in-chief of their humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern. Not unlike many other rowdy college students, Seuss and his friends were caught drinking in their dorm room one night, which got him kicked off the publication. Now, that might seem like a harsh punishment for a few beers, but Prohibition was still in effect when Seuss was in college. Giesel got his the best of them as he kept contributing to the publication under the name Seuss.

Work during World War II

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Even if Giesel was too old to be drafted for the second world war, he certainly was working hard. In the early 1940s, he started as a cartoonist for PM, a magazine produced in New York. Giesel made over 400 cartoons for the newspaper, most of them propaganda. In 1942, he began working for the US Army in their documentary film division. One of the films he wrote, Your Job in Germany, was even directed by Frank Capra (the same guy who directed It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington).

 

Seuss’ More Salacious Side

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Dr. Seuss, ever the pessimist about the publishing industry, wanted to make sure that his editors were paying attention. Apparently, Seuss used to slip in dirty images or swear words into his first drafts to keep everyone on their toes. Giesel even published a book called The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts of America’s Barest Family, which featured many nude drawings to illustrate the text. After its initial failure, as Seuss’ fame grew it was republished in 1987.

Featured image via Crushing Krisis

 

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7 Scariest Film Adaptations (You Won’t Guess Number 1!)

Short stories, novellas, novels, well books in general might just be words on paper, but those things are scary. In addition to giving me a paper cut, books can horrify me to my core.

And you know what is scary? Film. What is a film? A series of moving images and images can be scary. Make them move, I just crapped my pants.

So, in honor of fear and in glory to our blood thirsty gods, we present to you seven of Scariest Film Adaptations. Mark my words, young child, you won’t guess number one!

 

 

7-It: Chapter 1

 

Stephen King's "It"

Image Via Amazon

 

Don’t worry, this will be the only Stephen King adaptation on this list. There’s an ocean full of adaptations to choose from but we picked this adaptation because of its heart, its scares, and its optimistic light.

 

Pennywise

Image Via Digital Spy

 

Plus, it’s a close adaptation to the book (unlike Kubrick’s brilliant but unfaithful version of The Shining) that manages to capture both the scares and the comedic self-aware tone that King is most known for, although it does forgo some of the stranger elements.

 

Maturin

Image Via Stephen King Wiki – Fandom

 

6-The Exorcist

 

The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition by [Blatty, William Peter]

Image Via Amazon

 

In 1971 William Blatty brought us The Exorcist. The book goes through horrifying and skin-crawling descriptions of the demonic possession of eleven-year-old Regan MacNeil.

 

Regan

Image Via EOnline

 

While Regan herself is fictional, the book is inspired by a terrifying case in 1949 of reported demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University.

 

The Exorcist

Image Via Amazon

 

Two years later the iconic film adaptation hit the silver screens, sending audiences everywhere in a fright. While the film plays fast-and-loose with some of the details, as well as adding its odd terrifying touch, Blatty himself was the screenwriter and producer, marking this adaptation as one of the closest to the original novel.

 

5-Silence of the Lambs

 

The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Book 2) by [Harris, Thomas]

Image Via Amazon

 

A sequel to the disturbing police procedure with stunning descriptions, The Silence of the Lambs follows Clarice Starling, who must speak to a confined serial killer in order to track down another serial killer. Skin crawling in more ways than one, this novel shoots through twists and turns and shows that even a confined killer can be deadly.

 

Silence of the Lambs movie poster

Image Via Amazon

 

Top it off with a film adaptation that won all the Academy Awards in the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay (the third film in the history of the Oscars to do so) the characters of Hannibal Lecter and Agent Starling have become cemented into the public consciousness.

 

Image result for silence of the lambs film

Image Via Syfy

 

It’s horrifying, its disturbing, its uplifting, it’s everything you want in a horror film and its a masterclass in adaptation.

 

 

4-Dracula (1958)

 

Dracula

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Possibly the scariest incarnation of the Dracula story, the 1958 movie departs from the source material only when it wishes to elevate it. At the time, Bram Stoker’s story was horrifying and shocking to readers everywhere. However, sensibilities have changed and the novel was considered tame.

 

Dracula (1958)

Image Via Diabolique Magazine

 

In an effort to strike fear back into the hearts of anyone who heard the name of “Dracula”, the movie displayed the brutal nature of Dracula for the first time in all his onscreen glory. A true movie monster, this adaptation proved to be the scariest depiction Dracula and has kept that title ever since.

 

Christopher Lee

Image VIa BFI

 

Plus, Christopher “His mother was a Countess and he was a real-life spy” Lee portrayed Dracula, he was basically a vampire incarnate.

 

3-The Thing

 

Who Goes There? by Campbell Jr., John W.

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Did you know this was based on a book? Most people don’t, and they should because the book is just as enticing and awe-inspiring and downright horrifying as its film adaptation.

John W Campell, Jr’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? follows a group of scientific researches isolated in Antarctica who discover an alien spaceship buried inside the ice. They encounter what can only be described as a “thing”—a shape-shifter that takes on the personality of any living thing it devours.

 

The Thing

Image Via Amazon

 

The novella made such an impact that it spawned two movie adaptations, one in 1951 titled Thing from Another World and one in 1982 simply titled The Thing. While Thing from Another World is a great movie on its own, the 1982 became a cult classic and later a mainstream classic thanks due to its memorable characters and its horrifying images.

Warning! Watching this film will make you questions everything, and everyone, around you. Could the Thing be lurking behind you? Is it your loving dog or your cute cat? Or is it your best friend?

Who am I kidding? You don’t have any friends.

 

2-The Wicker Man (1973)

 

The Ritual by David Pinner

Image Via Goodreads

 

David Pinner’s 1967 novel was praised for its “opulent dialogue” but was given a warning because “it is quite likely to test your dreams of leaving the city for a shady nook by a babbling brook”.

 

The Wicker Man (1973)

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While the remake has its moments (not the bees!), the original 1973 starring many a cast, including Christopher Lee, entices us with this seemingly perfect cult with dark undertones. With themes of religiosity and faith, this film will reach down to your core and make you question everything you believe.

 

 

1-The Cat in the Hat

 

The Cat in the Hat

Image Via School Specialty

 

This is a horror novel. The bright colors might throw you off, but a humanoid cat breaks into the home of two innocent children and proceeds to have ‘fun’ with them through various chaotic games of growing insanity. Yes, the children take the whole thing in strides, but I think this is because they know that resistance is futile against this feline furry.

 

Cat in the Hat

Image Via IMDB

 

This is what the live action film understood perfectly well about the character. It might be overly longer, but like the novel its horrifying how much they have FUN FUN FUN.

 

If you want fun fun fun....

Image Thanks to Megan Bomar

 

I’m going to see that phrase smeared in blood when I get home, won’t I?

 

 

 

 

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5 Times SNL Hilariously Parodied Classic Books

Books are weird. We have books about children who don’t grow, books about evil jewelry, books about people who really want to sit in uncomfortable chairs, books about cats who wear hats for reasons that are  never explained, and books about orphans. It’s a lot to take in, but you know what makes it so much easier? Humor.

 

SNL boxset

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And SNL is funny. It’s had its up and downs, but when your show is over thirty years old, of course there are going to be some duds. But when it’s good, it is amazing.

So, in honor of our love of SNL and our love of books, here are five times SNL paranoid classic books.

 

1. Peter Pan

 

Peter Pan is back and Wendy and the gang are ready to go to Neverland. What could go wrong?

Well, Tinkerbell ain’t around. She was always kind of obnoxious with that I’m-going-to-sell-out-a little girl-to-a-one-handed-pirate thing she had going on, but that was a phase. Luckily, we can avoid bringing out dirty laundry because Peter Pan brought a new fairy.

 

Tonker Bell

Image Via Gifer

Tonker Bell.

She’s gross. And lazy. And a whole other list of negative character traits. At least she’s not cruel though. That goes to Peter Pan himself.

Yes, Tonker Bell may be unpleasant, but in the book Peter was a devil! Really. J. M. Barrie and the Lost Boys: The Real Story Behind Peter Pan notes that when Sir George Frampton sculpted this masterpiece…

 

Peter Pan Statue

Image Via The Second Website of Bob Speel

 

…author Barrie noted, “It doesn’t show the devil in Peter.”

Let’s be honest: Peter Pan cut off a pirate hand and threw it to a crocodile. Why not just kill him? Why throw his hand to a crocodile? Was it because his last name was hook? That’s not funny, that’s just mean.

If you want more examples, pick up J.M. Barrie’s 1911 book Peter and Wendy.

 

2. Oliver Twist

 

Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist follows the titular character who is born into poverty and grows up being forced to toil in the workhouse. It’s dark, it’s depressing, and it’s kind of fun.

It’s a match made in heaven for SNL.

Oliver Twist Cover

Image Via Amazon

 

In this sketch, the cowardly Oliver is told to ask for more food because the poor orphans are hungry. Shaking, Oliver goes up but is…

 

Oliver Twist

Image Via Variety

…interrupted by a full grown woman who comes out of nowhere begging for food she doesn’t need. How selfish!

When Oliver gets the bowl, the woman insults him. Oliver, the pinacle of human goodness, offers to share because of course he does. But unfortunately for him, the woman takes the whole bowl. If you thinks that’s depressing, you should read the book.

 

3. Cat in the Hat

 

Just like the Seuss’ book, this sketch opens up in rhyme. The twist? The Cat comes in just a bit too early. And turns out he knows the children’s mother!

The whole sketch builds from there. Why is the Cat in the Hat cut out from the pictures? The daughter can dance? And who is the children’s father? And will Thing One and Thing Two make an appearance?

This sketch, like the book, is a classic.

2. The Hobbit

 

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have much of the same characters, and the film adaptations have much of the same cast, so it’s only naturally we’d want to see them together. But how?

The Office is a good place to start. It’s a match made in heaven. Tolkien intended The Hobbit to be a children’s story, and The Office is basically a room full of children.

It might just be the best sketch yet, but that could because of Martin Freeman reprises his role as Bilbo Baggins.

 

Bilbo Baggins on SNL

Image Via Rebloggy

He’s basically Michael Scott. But that’s not the best part.

The best part is this…

Gollum SNL

Image Via Giffer

1. Game of thrones

 

Before the premiere aired, we already knew that more Game of Thrones spin offs than we could count were coming.

In case you wondering, we already know the details of two confirmed spin offs! Two! That’s almost the majority of my fingers on my writing right hand.

 

Game of Thrones-SVU poster

Image Via Deadline

But this sketch is a gem. It’s big, it’s long, it goes everywhere and does everything we want. The best part? We got SVU stars Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T investing the death of Oberyn Martell. Who could have crushed his death?

If you want to look at my thoughts when this sketch came out, you can read it here! And if you want more Game of Thrones parodies (and I know you do!), you can see my list here!

 

The great things about books is there are no commercials

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Overall, these classic sketches based on classic works will make you laugh, cry, and then you’ll realize you’re crying because you’re laughing so much.

 

Featured Image Via SNL

cover of Dr Seuss's Horse Museum

3 Books We Can’t Wait for This Year

It’s impossible to read all the books ever written, but lucky we don’t need to. We just have to read these books coming our way!

And the books we already own but haven’t read…but book problems, am I right?

 

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Image Via Pencil Pocket

 

3: Horse Museum by Dr. Seuss

 

Image Via Publishersweekly

A new Dr. Seuss book is going to hit shelves on September 3, 2019, marking the second time a Dr. Seuss book has been published posthumously since 2015’s What Pet Should I Get? 

The manuscript and sketches for book appear to have been discovered in the late author’s La Jolla home around the same time What Pet Should I Get? was discovered, but now illustrator Andrew Joyner is set to complete the author’s unfinished sketches.

statement by Random House reveals that the story will take younger riders on a journey with a friendly horse touring an art museum with illustrations “combined throughout with full-color photographic reproductions of famous horse artwork by Pablo Picasso, George Stubbs, Rosa Bonheur, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Deborah Butterfield, Franz Marc, Jackson Pollock…” and will features “[c]ameo appearances by classic Dr. Seuss characters (among them the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Horton the Elephant)…”

With a first printing of 250,000 copies, this fall many readers, both young and old, will return to a Dr. Seuss’s world as it grows just a little bit larger.

 

2. Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

 

Image result for Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

Image Via Penguin Random House

In the vein of In Cold Blood, Casey Cep’s Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee is about what Goodreads describes as “[t]he stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird“.

It is known that Harper Lee never wrote another book after To Kill A Mocking Bird. Go Set a Watchmen was confirmed to be the first draft of her literary classic, so this book has the potential to both dispel myths and paint a clear view on Harper Lee’s life post-publishing this May 7th, 2019.

Ironically, the novel is going to shed light on Harper Lee’s trying to write her next great American novel – a Gothic crime drama – but never succeeding.

 

  1. Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

 

Image result for cari mora thomas harris
Image Via Goodreads

With his last book published in December of 2006, Thomas Harris has been quiet on us. Now he returns on May 16th with Cari Mora. His second novel not featuring his infamous Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (his first novel, Black Sunday, didn’t feature the character when it debuted in 1975), Cari Mora is described by Tampa Bay as being about “Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.”

With its titular female character and themes of immigration, we can’t wait to read the sixth novel from the man whose kept us up late at night since the mid-seventies.

 

 

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