“All mine!” Yertle cried. “Oh, the things I now rule!
I’m the king of a cow! And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house! And, what’s more, beyond that
I’m the king of a blueberry bush and a cat!
I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”
Yertle the Turtle
If you follow my blog, you know I’m a fan of Dr. Seuss. His stories are fun to read, but also teach morality.
Recently I read a thesis on Dr. Seuss written by a young woman. She wrote about how Dr. Seuss stories always have a political theme and because of this, his stories are not suitable to read to young children. She believes that young children are not smart enough to understand these political themes.
This young college student obviously does not have children. Unfortunately, because I don’t know how to contact this woman, I am unable to tell her how wrong she is.
When my son was very young I would read to him Yertle the Turtle, his favorite bedtime story. Before he could walk, he would crawl over to his bookcase in his room and drag this large green book to me. With little talking he could do, he would ask me to read this story. Up until he was five or six years of age, I must have read this book to my son well over 1,000 times.
“I don’t like to complain,
But down here below,
We are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top
You are seeing great sights,
But down at the bottom
We, too, should have rights.”
Mack from Yertle the Turtle
Yertle the Turtle made such an impact on my son, that I believe his values, his political beliefs and his compassion for the difference between right and wrong are due to this simple story, Yertle the Turtle.
If you are a young parent, and you wish to teach your child about standing up for their self, about compassion for every living thing, bullying, and yes a little about politics and power, then you should be reading this book to your child every day.
Yertle the Turtle and all of Dr. Seuss books are not just entertaining to read out loud, but they are a great way to teach our children the difference between right and wrong.