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The Butter Battle Book: (New York Times Notable Book of the Year) (Classic Seuss) Hardcover – January 12, 1984
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A cautionary Cold War tale (first told by Dr. Seuss back in 1984), The Butter Battle Book still has a lot to teach about intolerance and how tit-for-tat violence can quickly get out of hand. Explaining the very serious differences between the Zooks and the Yooks, a Zook grandpa tells his grandchild the unspeakable truth: "It's high time that you knew of the terribly horrible thing that Zooks do. In every Zook house and every Zook town every Zook eats his bread with the butter side down!" He then recalls his days with the Zook-Watching Border Patrol, as he gave any Zook who dared come close "a twitch with my tough-tufted prickley Snick-Berry Switch." But when the Zooks fought back, the switches gave way to Triple-Sling Jiggers, then Jigger-Rock Snatchems--even a Kick-a-Poo Kid that was "loaded with powerful Poo-a-Doo Powder and ants' eggs and bees' legs and dried-fried clam chowder."
With lots of fun and more-than-fair digs at the runaway spending and one-upmanship of U.S.-Soviet days, The Butter Battle Book makes a chuckle-filled read whether you're old enough to get the historical references or not. (And with all the Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroos still in service, this book's message is far from obsolete.) (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
"Dr. Seuss chronicles the feud between the Yooks and the Zooks from slingshots through sophisticated weaponry, until each side has the capacity to destroy the world. The language amuses, the drawings are zesty and humorous, and the demand for this book will be large."--School Library Journal.
"Provocative, packs an allegorical punch. The parade of increasingly elaborate (and ridiculous) armaments makes a telling point."--Booklist.
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Top Customer Reviews
The entire premise of the story involves building new inventive concoctions to deter the opposing group. As all of this is going on within each side, the Yooks and the Zooks simply cannot see an end to the conflict. Instead, they continue to build and build bigger walls and massive machinery with the attempt that one will give up. However, neither side gives in. And as one reads the story, one of the resolutions that neither side even attempted, a peaceful means of negotiation through communication and speaking with each side rather than producing more unnecessary inventions that simply have not worked. So where does the story end? Where it began.
The Butter Battle Book is one of Dr. Seuss's classic stories that falls within the same vein as other controversial storylines that speaks to the masses and offers a lesson, The Lorax. This story also leaves much room for further discussion almost twenty years after it was written as well as within the present day.
Very good book. It is extremely entertaining to read aloud. The lilt and flow of the poetry is admirable and entertaining. One of my favorite by Seuss.
The drawings are topnotch and the whimsical names for things are classic Dr. Seuss. But that isn't why it is my favorite book. The Butter Battle Book manages to distill the ridiculousness of the Cold War and mutually assured destruction into terms a child could understand. Perhaps if more adults read this book back in the day it wouldn't have taken until the 90's for the Cold War to end.
Neither child has asked to read it again. So...I dont know, it really isnt a grabbing story, not my fave Dr Seuss book, but because I do think its clever and teaches a very important and deep ideas to kids, I gave it 4 stars. I like that is isnt really dumbed down.