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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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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of U.S.-Soviet days, The Butter Battle Book makes a chuckle-filled read whether you're old enough to get the historical references or not.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
"Provocative, packs an allegorical punch. The parade of increasingly elaborate (and ridiculous) armaments makes a telling point."--Booklist.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is about 2 groups, the Yooks and the Zooks, who live separated only by a wall, and are very similar except for the way they butter their bread. This leads to a battle involving constantly bigger weapons, until they come up with the 'big-boy boomeroo', capable of destroying each other's lands. Of course, the book ends before the story does, leaving you guessing on exactly what would happen.
I went through a few stages with this book, making it even better to think about. The first time I heard it, I was about 5, and upset that there was no 'ending'. After a few more times, I decided to use my imagination to create my own ending, which is what many children will do if encouraged by a parent reading with them. As I got older, I realized there was no ending because if it was real, you really wouldn't know how it ended until it happened. This book also made me think about how small differences in people can cause such big problems if you are not open minded. (That was after a few years - in the beginning I wondered why the Zooks didn't just turn their bread upside down and everyone would be the same).
The Butter Battle Book is a wonderful lesson, written in a way that even a child could understand the concept of war, see how differences in people can cause foolish problems, and use their imaginations. I would recommend it to anyone.
It's effectiveness is enhanced because it all starts out at a very silly level of a border guard using his Snick-Berry switch. Then things go wrong because "a very rude Zook by the name of VanItch snuck up and slingshotted my Snick-Berry switch!" The border guard for the Yooks tells his superior. The scientists get to work, and soon an improved weapon (a Triple-Sling Jigger) is available. The Zooks counter again, and so on it goes. The names, characteristics, and illustrations of the weapons are hilarious. Then, just when you are enjoying the folly, the scientists come up with the BITSY BIG-BOY BOOMEROO, which fits in the palm of a hand. Everyone has to get into a shelter underground because it is so dangerous. "'Grandpa!' I shouted. 'Be careful Oh, gee! Who's going to drop it? Will you . . . ? Or will he . . . ? . . . We'll see. We will see . . . .'" To go from that silliness to that horror in such a short number of pages is an amazingly effective job of story telling.
The book also explores how such conflicts are caused by lack of communication. There's a wall between the Yooks and the Zooks. Over the years, it gets higher and higher. So they can see a little about each other, but not talk. From what they see, they are astonished that one side eats their bread and butter with the butter-side up, while the other eats with the butter-side down. I thought that was a pretty interesting way to capture the kind of small differences that often lead to border wars. Consider the former Yugoslavian states.
The primary drawback of such a story for children is that it is a chilling tale.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sometimes there is a real right and a real wrong, but even without getting into a political debate about the genuine evilness of communism and how it was that the USA so... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Fuzzbean
Purchased to teach my students about the Cold war. They enjoyed it and had a better understanding.Published 1 month ago by SELINA
Building my Dr. Seuss collection for the grand kids who LLLLLLOVE his books!Published 1 month ago by Kimberly Reckles
The butter battle book by Dr. Seuss
Two different families and each one butters their bread differently.
Rhyming silly children's book that uses your imagination. Read more
My father bought me this book the year it came out. I believe I was 4 or 5. He used the book to teach me to accept other's differences because anger and hatred lead to the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Colburn
After reading this book religiously when I was a child I wanted my children to have the same memories. Dr. Seuss never disappoints. Read morePublished 2 months ago by bksimmons
The words were OK, just a few stumbles, the pictures were WONDERFUL the weapons were hilarious, the uniforms were full of shiny. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sylvia McIvers