Seuss, Dr.- Hooper Humperdink…? Not Him! – Book Review

Click here to buy Hooper Humperdink

Whenever children’s classics are discussed, Dr. Seuss needs to be mentioned. If he had given in to despair in the days before self-publishing, he might not have submitted To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street for the 29th time and we would never know of his wonderful gift. This giant among picture book writers has created n cherished and impressive body of work.

His rhyming stories engage children from toddlerhood to primary school. When you consider that the illustrations are cluttered in cartoon=like, you may wonder how it could interest a very small child who has difficulty with unrealistic imagery. It is the power of his language that mesmerizes the reader, no matter what their age. Dr. Seuss’s rhymes are flawless and extremely difficult to imitate. At a very early age, babies are attracted to rhythm and rhyme. They love books that have a beat and songs that are repetitive. Dr. Seuss taps into this hunger. Many beginning writers try to copy his style and write in rhyme. Most of the time, it doesn’t work.

Seuss also wrote as Theo LeSieg; his real name was Geisel. One of my favorite LeSieg books is Hooper Humperdink…? Not Him! Bullying by exclusion is a timeless topic. Seuss handles it in a humorous and gentle way. As the story builds, our empathy toward Hooper grows in relation to the extravagance he will miss. We sigh with relief when the protagonist says on the last page “I will ask Hooper Humperdink!” What a wonderful way to broach the topic of exclusion bullying with your child.

As well, tucked  inside this creative brilliance is the alphabet concept. As the protagonist builds his guest list, he goes through the alphabet from Alice to Zipper. Children will enjoy selecting the page where their name, the names of their family members, and their friends would belong in the birthday guest list.

The illustrations have been updated by Scott Nash but keep true to the flavor of the original character. Every child should have a few Dr. Seuss books, and this one is well worth purchasing.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages