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Learning from Experience,
This review is from: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (Dr Seuss Book & Tape) (Paperback)
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back was one of her picks.
The theme of this story builds from The Cat in the Hat. In that story, two children are home alone when the cat in the hat visits, makes a horrible mess, and manages to clean it all up just as mother returns. Although the family fish warned them about the cat, the children were gullible.
In this story, the children are not gullible, but the cat takes advantage of them anyway. The children are home alone shoveling deep snow while their mother is away in town for the day. The cat in the hat goes into the house before they can stop him, and eats cake in the bath tub while bathing. They told him to get out and pulled the plug. Unfortunately, that left a long pink cat ring. A contrite, but overconfident, cat in the hat says he'll take care of everything. But he just moves the pink mess from one valuable object to another, starting with mother's white dress. He is a very foolish cat!
Soon, he needs help. In his hat are 26 little cats from A to Z who are specialists at cleaning up the messes he just made. Eventually, the outside snow is so covered in pink spots so that the whole yard is one big spot! Then he calls on Z who is too small to see, and Z finishes the job. Everything is back in order.
This beginning reader is also designed to help with the alphabet. Long before the book can be read by your child, the alphabet sequence will be helpful. The book is moe difficult to read than The Cat in the Hat, so your child will probably not attempt it unless and until that book is mastered.
There are many subtle messages here that any parent can endorse. One, you have to be careful about letting people in your house. Although the cat in the hat is not sinister, children need to understand that lesson in a nonfrightening way. Two, if you know someone is a troublemaker, you'd better keep them away from mischief. Children are very accepting of mischievous children who set bad examples. This gives you a chance to praise the good behavior of the children while questioning the appropriateness of the cat's behavior. What else could the children have done? They will have this issue with friends in years to come. Three, the smallest cat is the most powerful. That's a rare voice in favor of examining people and animals for their worth in effectiveness rather than their size. Diminutive children will like this part. Four, by being persistent in dealing with the cat, everything turns out all right. Children need to learn that persistence can overcome adversity. Five, thinking ahead can save a lot of problems. If the children had given the cat some paper towels in the beginning or knew how to wash out a bath tub themselves, the complications would have been minor. As you read the story together, you can emphasize these lessons to help your child.
When you are both done with the book, you should discuss how problems can be prevented by anticipation. This is a good way to help your child's problem-solving ability mature.