Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dr. Seuss and Oobleck

I have to admit that I didn't understand the connection between Oobleck and Dr. Seuss until recently.  The oobleck namesake is a delightful Seuss book named, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. (Although, as my friend suggested, with a whimsical name like "oobleck", I probably should have guessed.)  I don't know that my high school students would have been that impressed with the connection - although they were at a school for the arts, so they may have actually enjoyed it.  But I digress.

Bartholomew and the Oobleck is about the arrogant King of Didd who was tired of only having four options fall from the sky: rain, sunshine, fog and snow.  Against the advice of Bartholomew, his page boy, he asks his royal magicians to concoct something different.  After thinking for a bit, the magicians suggest oobleck, which delights the king.  "Why, I'll be the mightiest man that ever lived!  Just think of it!  Tomorrow I'm going to have OOBLECK!"  The next morning when the oobleck starts falling from the sky, Bartholomew quickly realizes what a problem it is going to be. He attempts to enlist help to warn the people of the kingdom, from the Royal Bell Ringer to the Royal Trumpeter, but the oobleck gums up the bell and stops up the trumpet.  Eventually as the oobleck grows from tiny drops to blobs the size of footballs, the king becomes stuck to his throne and realizes that maybe oobleck wasn't such a great idea after all.  Once Bartholomew forces the king to accept responsibility and apologize for his mistakes, the oobleck magically disappears.

We were able to find the book on the shelf at our local library to enjoy.  We read it after we had made the oobleck and of course the first comment was, "But, Momma, the oobleck is supposed to be pink!".  I explained that we could have made it any color we wanted.  The book is a little on the long side for my younger one, but I think they both enjoyed the reference to oobleck and anything from Dr. Seuss, with a decent message to boot, is a good thing in my book!

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