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You're Only Old Once Hardcover – 17 Dec 1990
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From the Inside Flap
Dr. Seuss lightens the aches and pains of growing old with his inimitable wit and wisdom. In this new defense against aging, we follow our hapless hero through his checkup with the experts at the Golden Years Clinic.
About the Author
THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL--aka Dr. Seuss--is one of the most beloved children's book authors of all time. From The Cat in the Hat to Oh, the Places You'll Go!, his iconic characters, stories, and art style have been a lasting influence on generations of children and adults. The books he wrote and illustrated under the name Dr. Seuss (and others that he wrote but did not illustrate, including some under the pseudonyms Theo. LeSieg and Rosetta Stone) have been translated into thirty languages. Hundreds of millions of copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world. Dr. Seuss's long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot's Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys, and a Peabody.
Top customer reviews
The book starts off like most Dr. Seuss books, beckoning you towards a far distant, wonderful land. In this case, the land is Fotta-fa-Zee where there's "no smelly bad traffic," you feel fine at 103, and your teeth and hair are kept strong by chewing nuts from the Tutt-a-Tutt Tree.
Then reality sets in. You've just been reading National Geographic about Fotta-fa-Zee while sitting in the Golden Years Clinic waiting for the physical that no one should ever have. The high point of this whole experience is talking with the fish in the aquarium as you wait, and wait, and wait for the next part of the exam. Naturally, no one will tell you anything about what they have learned from the tests. You have to see more doctors first, and take more tests.
One of my favorite parts is the eye exam near the beginning, where you get both a "eyesight and solvency test." You have to be able to see and pay for the exam to pass.
Pretty soon all of your clothes have been replaced with a gown, and you cannot easily escape even though that seems like the right thing to do. Each test seems worse than the last. The stress test adds stress as well as measuring it. You smell foods, and any that smell good are taken off your diet.
At some point, you make such an impression with your test results that they wheel you around in a wheelchair.
Pretty soon you've got so many prescriptions it takes two pages of poetry to cover all of the directions.
Before you can escape you have to fill out more forms so that the bills will be paid by your estate if you don't survive.
Dr. Seuss concludes with "you're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in." That's the most we can hope for from America's answer to afternoon tea for the Medicare set.
Having been through such check-ups myself and having a father whose retirement consists of keeping doctors in business at 84 (he calls it 21 for the 4th time), I can definitely appreciate the humor here. Hopefully, you will too.
I just wish we had stayed in Fotta-fa-Zee rather than the Doctor's office.
The satirical concept is great, but the poetry, whimsy, and illustrations make it all even better. It should cheer up anyone who spends a lot of time visiting doctors.
Banish your misconception stalls about aging and medical care with humor!
work is so often overlooked in the world of satire, and too often plunked into the children's book catagories.
This book was not written for kids! How quaint; how rare! He's written for gram and even gramp-air! "Only Old Once" addresses adult fears of doctors in the unique Seuss way, without being distinctly childish. He mocks the testing methods and treatments that many of us don't even want to think about.
Another Seuss gem in a similar vein, is "Daisey-Head Mayzie", who also endures the poking and prodding of modern medicine, all because she was different.
If you haven't read Seuss since your youngest child entered middle school, shame on you; consider yourself properly rebuked, and go get a few Cat in the Hat logoed volumes. Then curl up with a plate of green eggs and ham and let yourself go!
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