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Customer Review

84 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can reading a revised edition to a baby be a travesty?, May 22, 2002
This review is from: Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! (Board book)
Welcome to the wonderful world of whimsical, wacky writing, and crazy, colorful caricatures - "Big Q, little q what begins with Q? The quick Queen of Quincy and her quacking quacker-oo." An excellent educational tool, "Dr. Seuss's ABC An Amazing Alphabet Book!" is an inspired introduction to the alphabet, both upper and lowercase letters, and also reinforces letter sounds through alliteration. The text, format, and images have been adapted to accommodate board book standards; yet, the phrasing and prose, in this particular volume still flow. See the following excerpts:
The original -
"BIG V, little v
Vera Violet Vinn
Is very, very, very awful on her violin."
Revised edition -
"BIG V, little v, what begins with V?
Verna Vera Vin and her violet violin."
I am flabbergasted by the lack of enthusiasm for the revised board book editions of Dr. Seuss's (and others) "Beginner Books" published by Random House. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to offer my infant son a CLASSIC narrative, by means of a board book, even in its ADAPTED form. These magical miniatures are delightfully entertaining for little babies, who enjoy the positive interaction of cooperative play through reading. The objectives of these small books are to appeal to newborns, and very young children with short attention spans who are not attentive enough for the full text versions, they are NOT meant to replace the originals. Moreover, these pocketsize gems are fashioned for effortless travel to the market, on a plane, in the car, or on a train. Hee, hee.
I own most of Dr. Seuss's first editions, in addition to a few of the board book volumes, and agree that the original "Beginner Books" are just that - ORIGINAL. They are more amusing, entertaining, and educational, but are in fact more appropriate for older children, 4 years and older. I believe introducing infants to creative works, such as these, only encourages listening and learning from an earlier age. In summary, if your child is three or older purchase an original version, otherwise think of introducing your infant to the shorter, travel-anywhere format, and procure the original at a later date. The marvelous, magical magician, who was Dr. Seuss is worth it! Birth and up.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 12, 2014 7:05:29 PM PST
Jenny Lynn says:
Brilliant review! Thank you! This is exactly what I was thinking but could never put it into such very well and cleverly written words. :)

Posted on Mar 8, 2016 8:56:09 AM PST
Athena PN says:
Respectfully, I disagree in part. The book board format sounds fine for infants but there is no excuse for not indicating that this is an *abridged* version meant for a different audience than that for which the book was originally published (publishing on book board is not an admission of this, it's merely a medium). If that disclaimer was attached I doubt there would be so many negative reviews, as it is Random House is engaging in bait-and-switch.

Dr. Seuss wrote this book to help verbal children (no age specified) learn the alphabet by engaging with words. I'm working with a 4-yr-old whose "day care" has her placed with far younger children which has reinforced an inclination to regress in times of stress. She needs the full version as she is fully verbal (I've also worked with other fully verbal children who've needed the verbal engagement of the full version). The book board version is sturdy enough for 'my' current kid but is woefully inadequate for her intellectually & won't help her stretch to learn; it may, in fact, simply reinforce infantilized behaviors.

The abridged version sounds fine for infants and you deserve serious credit for being so engaged with your little one that you're making good educational choices on her/his behalf. I think the outrage is from those who've felt cheated by poor labeling, as I would certainly be irate had I ordered the book board edition based on durability when I should have gotten the hardback.

Thank you for your thoughtful and well-written review.
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