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The Sneetches and Other Stories Hardcover – August 12, 1961

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches / Had bellies with stars. / The Plain-Belly Sneetches / Had none upon thars." This collection of four of Dr. Seuss's most winning stories begins with that unforgettable tale of the unfortunate Sneetches, bamboozled by one Sylvester McMonkey McBean ("the Fix-it-up Chappie"), who teaches them that pointless prejudice can be costly. Following the Sneetches, a South-Going Zax and a North-Going Zax seem determined to butt heads on the prairie of Prax. Then there's the tongue-twisting story of Mrs. McCave--you know, the one who had 23 sons and named them all Dave. (She realizes that she'd be far less confused had she given them different names, like Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face or Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate.) A slightly spooky adventure involving a pair of haunted trousers--"What was I scared of?"--closes out the collection. Sneetches and Other Stories is Seuss at his best, with distinctively wacky illustrations and ingeniously weird prose. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.


Dr. Seuss ignites a child's imagination with his mischievous characters and zany verses.
The Express

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (August 12, 1961)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800899
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 123 people found the following review helpful By L C on December 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Although best loved for children's literature, it is often noted that Dr. Seuss wrote about social issues. This is one of his best, but least cited, examples. This book is a collection of 4 shorter-than-usual Dr. Seuss stories, but ones with quite significant social meaning.
The first, and most well known of the book, is the Sneetches. It is a story of a society of haves and have-nots (imagine that!), in which access to the goodies of life are determined by whether or not you have a star on your belly. Read into it what you will. Whatever you make of it, it is certainly a commentary on racial, gender, or any number of other social categories! The story's strength is that it shows just how arbitrary and constructed these categories are. Features -- such as a star, but also skin color, gendered attributes, etc etc -- can be used to define people as dominant and powerful, or repressed and marginalized. What is at issue is not which characteristics are used to delineate people into specific social categories or identities, but how people marginalize others by playing up those definitions...
The Zax is a cute little story, which teaches us that compromise is quite important. Too many Daves is equally short and cute, although its meaning is less obvious. I see it as a cry for individualism. Could just be a cute story...
Finally, "What was I Scared Of?" is another really good story with a social meaning -- again read into it as you will. In this story, there is a pair of pale green pants which has no one inside of it. The main character is afraid of them, but only because he never bothered to find out about them... what they were about. In fact, the empty green pants are just as afraid of him as he is of them! When they both realize they are pretty much the same, once you stood face to face with the other.
Five Stars I do give it! Five Stars Upon Thars!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is definetly one of Dr. Seuss' best. Four stories with messages so subtle and solutions so obvious that both adult and child will enjoy them again and again. Time (and repitition) has not dimmed any of their charm. The story of The Sneetches focuses on prejudice. Perhaps the most subtle of all Dr. Seuss stories, it demonstrates the silliness of stereotypes and what happens to those who subscribe to them. The story of The Zax tells the story of two stubborn and inflexible Zax. And what happens when they happen to run into each other. Too Many Daves is one mother's story of naming all twenty-three of her children Dave. But my favorite it What Was I Scared Of? It's a not very scary story of seeing a pair of "pale green pants with nobody, inside them". And what to do if you should see them.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2000
Format: Library Binding
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. The Sneetches and Other Stories was one of her picks.
One of the reasons I liked to read Dr. Seuss stories to all of my children was that they contain up-lifting moral messages. In The Sneetches, the lesson is tolerance of those who are different from you. In The Zax, cooperation is encouraged. In Too Many Daves, individuality is espoused. What Was I Scared of? looks at the irrational bases of many of our fears.
The stories are also wonderful because they are humorous, have fun poems, and the drawings are very interesting and unusual.
The moral lesson in The Sneetches is put together in a very clever way. The story starts with two types of Sneetches, those with stars on their tummies and those without. The former are the higher status group. Then, Sylvester McMonkey McBean came to town with machines that could add stars. He quickly got rich making all the Sneetches look alike. The high-class Sneetches didn't like that, so they paid to have the stars taken off. And so on it went, until McBean had all of the money. Then, the Sneetches finally got smart and treated everyone alike, whether or not they had stars.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Sneetches, written by Dr. Seuss, is an outstanding story. In this story the plain belly Sneetches are left out of all the activities that the Sneetches with stars on their bellies do. All the plain belly Sneetches wanted to do was join in and feel welcome, to have fun, and not be left out in the dark. One day a man came with a machine to add stars to the plain belly Sneetches' bellies. The Sneetches were delighted, but the star belly Sneetches were not. Since the man was a very devious man he had a solution for the Sneetches with stars on their bellies.

Dr. Seuss's story of the Sneetches is descriptive, giving the reader a clear image. Even though I am in 7th grade and the reading is easy, there is a profound moral to this story. I would rate it 5 out 5 stars.

~ Jenny ~
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