Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SF in kids' books

I've been thinking alot lately about specfic references in TV ads and kids books. Specifically, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, by Dr Seuss.

I'll give you the short version: the Cat leaves a pink ring in the bath. To get rid of it, he wipes it off with a towel, but then it's on the towel. Anyway, in the course of trying to get the stain off various items and out of the house, he introduces 'Little Cat A', who lives in his red and white striped hat. And in Little Cat A's hat lives Little Cat B.

Eventually, every speck of snow outside the house is pink, and so the Cat calls on his final hope, Little Cat Z (who, of course, lives in the hat of Little Cat Y).

He says: "Z is too small to see. So don't try. You can not. But Z is the cat who will clean up that spot!"

Z doesn't have a cat in his hat. Instead, he has VOOM.

"Voom is so hard to get,
You never saw anything
Like it, I bet.
Why, Voom cleans up anything
Clean as can be!"

Then he yelled,
"Take your hat off now,
Little Cat Z!
Take the Voom off your head!
Make it clean up the snow!
Hurry! You Little Cat!
One! Two! Three! GO!"

Then the Voom...
It went VOOM!
And, oh boy! What a VOOM!

Now, don't ask me what Voom is.
I never will know.
But, boy! Let me tell you
It DOES clean up snow!

Isn't that cool! I think so. But maybe I've just been reading kids' books too long!

1 comment:

David said...

I've always like the VOOM bit too. And I like that the cat tries everyting else before he tries Z (and in Dr Seuss logic it couldn't happen any other way -- it's the last letter of the alphabet); and that it pulls the story out of a tight spot -- why bother with plot and character when you have VOOM?; and I like the cat's complete faith that it will fix everything up, although he's not sure how or what it is.