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McElligot's Pool (Classic Seuss) Hardcover – September 12, 1947


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McElligot's Pool (Classic Seuss) + Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (Classic Seuss)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: Classic Seuss
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 12, 1947)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800837
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

McElligot's Pool is a Seuss classic from the distant era before even The Cat In The Hat. It's a single poetic variation on the theme of adult skepticism that's no match for childhood faith and daydreaming. A small boy is fishing in the tiny, unpromising McElligot's Pool, a puddle that (as a passing farmer informs our diminutive hero) is nothing but a hole where people dispose of their junk. But the boy is all optimism: what if the pool is deeper than anyone thinks? What if it connects to an underground stream that flows under the town to the sea? Might not all sorts of fish then swim up the stream and be caught here? "I might catch an eel... (Well, I might. It depends.) A long twisting eel with a lot of strange bends. And, oddly enough, with a head at both ends!" The moral of the story is straightforward: "If I wait long enough, if I'm patient and cool,/ Who knows what I'll catch in McElligot's pool?" (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr

Review

"Rare and wonderful imaginings are told in the author-artist's inimitable rhyme and are shown in hilariously funny pictures."--Booklist.  

More About the Author

"A person's a person, no matter how small," Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, would say. "Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted."

Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped millions of kids learn to read.

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, he went to Oxford University, intending to acquire a doctorate in literature. At Oxford, Geisel met Helen Palmer, whom he wed in 1927. Upon his return to America later that year, Geisel published cartoons and humorous articles for Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at that time. His cartoons also appeared in major magazines such as Life, Vanity Fair, and Liberty. Geisel gained national exposure when he won an advertising contract for an insecticide called Flit. He coined the phrase, "Quick, Henry, the Flit!" which became a popular expression.

Geisel published his first children's book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books. While Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#70 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#69 in Books
#69 in Books

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 82 customer reviews
I love reading it, because I still remember the story 30+ years later!
SCOdoubleT
Imagination should be encouraged in children, and this book illustrates the concept for children beautifully.
M. Holmes
Your kids will LOVE this book, and adults actually enjoy reading it, too!
M. Susan Murphey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "lynkfri13" on September 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
When I was ages 4-7 with constant earaches, and finally needing my tonsils out, this book was the only bribe that would get me to the pediatricians office.( He had a copy in his waiting room)
My kids loved it just as much. Im not sure why it's even more popular than other Dr. Seuss. Perhaps because of the beautifully expanding imaginary depths that the hero imagines lie beneath McElligot's Pool. The delightfully bizarre illustrations of the ever more outrageous fish that might populate this world are mysterious and entrancing. As always, Dr. Seuss is a genius at putting common, and his own invented words together into sentences that sing themselves off the page.
This is a wonderful story for kids 3-7. (Please, don't make them go to the doctor's office to read it) :-)
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book sets up a contrast between the sour pessimism of an adult farmer and the unbounded optimism of a boy. The farmer finds the boy with his fishing line dangling in a small water-filled crack in the earth.
"You're sort of a fool!
You'll never catch fish
in McElligot's Pool!"
As you can imagine, youngster often take that as a challenge to keep doing what they are doing, and this one certainly did. His fertile imagination soon fills the world with opportunity for good fishing.
"This pool might be bigger
Than you or I know!"
He goes on to imagine that it could connect underground all the way to the sea and contain many varieties of fish (Dog Fish, Catfish, or "even a fish made of strawberry jelly" not to mention one with a pinwheel-like tail, another with fins like a sail, and many many more). The book's core is a series of fantastic fish, each more remarkable than the last. The most exciting one to me is a THING-A-MA-JIGGER (that's much bigger than a whale).
Having thought about all of these fish, the boy ponders,
"Oh, the sea is so full of a number of fish,
If a fellow is patient, he might get his wish!"
But, the boy is still there with the little pool. What else is he thinking? He's actually congratulating himself for being so wise.
"And that's why I think
That I'm not such a fool
When I sit here and fish
In McElligot's Pool!"
That, of course, is the downside of optimism. You can spend a lot of time doing things that make little sense, in hopes they will pan out. Research has shown that optimists vastly outperform pessimists. The difference seems to be that optimists try more things, and some of them work!
Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Z. D. Houghton on August 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am not sure why this book doesn't get the attention of Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, or the Sneetches. While there isn't an overt ecological or politcal message hidden in these pages, I think the story of a boy who doesn't give up in the face of criticism is a great one!

When I was young, nothing could get my imagination going like this book! I love how Seuss takes the reader through a pond, and underground river, and finally the ocean! And you begin to think, maybe, just maybe he'll catch something after all. (I like to think he did).

Like any good kid's book, McElligot's Pool is not soley based on message. The illustrations here are as diverse and fantastic as anything he did, if a little softer. You know what? I still love this book. I think there's a good chance I'll get more out of the 64 pages in this book then I would out of 800 of the newest fiction of today. Just because an idea is simple doesn't mean it's silly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The earlier reviewer is right; who cannot like a book by Dr. Seuss? This classic children's story is about a boy fishing in a small pool and imagining all types of fish that he might catch, most of them quite fanciful. I still remember laughing when I first read it as a child. The book was a 1948 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustration in a children's book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ScaryB4Coffee the on June 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this energetic, imaginative story to my children, and now I get to read it to my grandchildren - that means all the big and little fish will become alive again! The pictures are big - big with personality - and if anyone thought fish were boring, well, think again. My daughter learned to read on this book, and it was the one book she would "read" to me (by memory) - all I did was turn the pages. This is a hard-to-find Seuss book, and well worth the search.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DRAPEREF@AXP.CALUMET.PURDUE.EDU on January 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
My father had the original printing of this book. The pages have have torn away from the binding and the cover is tattered and worn. But for 23 years it has delilighted and enticed me. There is never a moment that I pass by a pond and wonder where it connects to the sea. Oh what kinds of fish could there be, if I sit and I stew and am patient like you? And bait my hook and have a look and wait all day for McElligot's Pool to connect from me all the way to the sea.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By raggedymom on November 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
McElligot's Pool is a favorite bed time story for my husband and daughters. The places you go in McElligot's Pool are quite fascinating...and of course always entertaining! Both my husband and I remember this story fondly from our childhoods as well. I should mention too, that part of the charm for us is that "McElligott" is our last name. The kids get quite a kick out of seeing such an unusual name in print!! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! The book has become difficult to find lately.
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