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Scrambled Eggs Super! af Dr. Seuss

Scrambled Eggs Super! (1954)

af Dr. Seuss

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7131024,428 (3.61)8
Tired of scrambled eggs always tasting the same, Peter T. Hooper goes on a great egg hunt for his new recipe.
Titel:Scrambled Eggs Super!
Forfattere:Dr. Seuss
Info:NY Random.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Scrambled Eggs Super! af Dr. Seuss (1954)


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Speaking to his younger sister one day in this rhyming picture-book adventure, the imaginative Peter T. Hooper spins a tale of the most extraordinary scrambled eggs ever made - by him, of course! Hen eggs being entirely too mundane for him, this ambitious youngster heads out into the world to collect some very unusual and rare eggs, produced by some very inventive made-up creatures. From the Long-Legger Kwong, whose eggs need to be caught before they hit the ground, to the Grickily Gractus, who lays her eggs in a cactus, these birds produce eggs that are worth tracking down, just as Petter T. Hooper produces the much vaunted "Scrambled Eggs Super..."

Originally published in 1954, some four years after his If I Ran the Zoo, Scrambled Eggs Super! is Dr. Seuss' ninth picture-book, and feels like a variation on that earlier book, and on McElligot's Pool, published in 1947. All three titles are a marvelous catalogue of fantastic creatures, dreamt up by a young boy narrator who imagines the fish he might catch in McElligot's Pool, the animals he could imprison in If I Ran the Zoo, and the eggs he might collect in Scrambled Eggs Super! The artwork here is vintage Seuss fun, full of quirky animal characters, expressive human ones - the little girl's face in the final scene had me chuckling! - and created using the black line drawings and colorful accents of earlier titles. The wacky storyline, colorful artwork and rhyming text all make this an entertaining read-aloud selection, like so many of Dr. Seuss' famous titles.

I have vague memories of enjoying Scrambled Eggs Super! as a girl - some of the scenes really popped out at me, during this reread, and I smiled in recognition at some of the birds - but it wasn't one of my childhood favorites, when it comes to Dr. Seuss' work, and I hadn't thought of it in years. My current reread was prompted by the Seuss retrospective I have recently begun, in which I will be reading and reviewing all forty-four of his classic picture-books, in chronological publication order. This is a project that I began as an act of personal protest against the suppression of six of the author/artist's titles - this one, as well as And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, McElligot's Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, On Beyond Zebra! and The Cat's Quizzer - by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, an action with which I vehemently disagree.

This decision was purportedly taken by Dr. Seuss Enterprises in response to outdated and ostensibly offensive elements in these six books. Reading through Scrambled Eggs Super! I was able to identify two potentially problematic scenes that no doubt led to its inclusion amongst the titles to be suppressed. The first of these was the one involving the arctic Grice, a bird living near the North Pole, whose eggs are obtained by a boatload of men in furry-looking jumpsuits. These men, riding in their Katta-ma-Side (a boat made of the sea leopard's hide), are interpreted by most to be a caricature of the Inuit, whose depiction seems to be a recurring theme - see my review of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and McElligot's Pool for my interpretation of the other appearances of the Inuit, thus far in my reading project - in this effort to challenge and disappear some of Seuss' work. The second potentially problematic scene involved the Mount Strookoo Cookoo, whose eggs were collected by Ali, a figure outfitted in traditional Turkish clothing, whose depiction might be interpreted by some as being Orientalist in nature.

As I mentioned in my review of If I Ran the Zoo, it's important to recall that Dr. Seuss' method of storytelling, whether textual or artistic, is heavily reliant upon caricature, and it is often satirical in nature. In thinking about these challenged titles, and considering the specific depictions being criticized, I have found it very helpful to distinguish between cases where the caricature of non-European and non-Euro-American peoples is of the same tone and kind as that of European and Euro-American peoples, and those cases where it is not. In my analysis, I concluded that And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and McElligot's Pool contained depictions that might be considered racially or culturally insensitive, given the current zeitgeist, but that lacked the animus necessary to label them as racist, or truly objectionable. They were not, in other words, demeaning or hateful - simply satirical, in the way that other depictions in those books were satirical. Sadly, I did not arrive at the same conclusion, reading If I Ran the Zoo, where I found the controversial scenes were indeed of a demeaning and dehumanizing nature.

The two aforementioned scenes, here in Scrambled Eggs Super!, belong very much to the former category, and while I would never question another reader's right to object to them - it is not my place, after all, to tell others how to interpret what they read - I am amazed that they resulted in this book being pulled from publication. The scene with the Grice-hunters never identifies the people in question in anything but a fictional way (no mention of the word "Eskimo," which, by contrast, can be found in the text of McElligot's Pool), and their visual depiction is not particularly pointed or demeaning. It's clear that in the narrator's mind, northern people are associated with northern birds, as they all live in the north, and that no particular commentary (positive or negative) is being offered on the humans in question. Not so with the Turkish Ali, who is described in the text as "brave Ali," for his actions in fighting off flocks of cuckoos, in order to complete his mission. While both of these depictions employ some stereotype - the "Inuit" figures in furry clothing, Ali in a turban - it is not at all clear to me that this stereotyping is any more pointed or hurtful than any other stereotyping that a caricaturist such as Seuss would use.

I've made the point several times now, during the course of this reading project, that I have no objection to other readers deciding that these books are indeed hurtful, and to their making the decision not to share them with the young people in the lives. My objection is to the idea, implicit in Dr. Seuss Enterprises' recent decision, that because some have found these books offensive, no one else should be allowed to easily access them. I have seen the specious argument floated about, both by members of our chattering classes and by private citizens on the internet, that this is not a "book banning," because it is the copyright holder who is making the decision to remove these books, rather than some governmental agency. I find this a curiously naive attitude, and suspect that it rests upon some rather disingenuous double standards. Imagine the following scenario: an author has written a best-selling picture-book featuring same-sex parents. Said author owns the rights to the book (unlikely, in today's publishing market, but let's pretend), and when he dies, those rights pass to a relative who, for religious reasons, believes same-sex marriage is wrong. Acting in accordance with her conscience, the relative decides to stop publication, sincerely convinced that the book in question will harm vulnerable children, by sending them the wrong messages. Would the readers and critics applauding this recent decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises still be arguing that nothing censorious was going on, in the foregoing scenario, because the one taking action to suppress the book was the copyright holder? Or would they be vehemently protesting what they saw as the imposition of someone else's moral code onto their own reading choices?

I think everyone knows what the reaction would be, to the unlikely scenario posited above, and it certainly wouldn't involve the mental gymnastics we've seen commentators put themselves through recently, to show that this whole debacle wasn't censorship, because copyright holders have the legal authority to make these decisions. A few years ago, objecting to then Vice President Mike Pence's stance on LGBT rights, the talkshow host John Oliver dreamt up a satirical picture-book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, in response to the publication of another picture-book, Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President, by the Vice President's daughter, Charlotte Pence. While I had some ethical issues with the whole thing, mostly surrounding the idea of attacking a public figure, not through his own work, but through his family, this still strikes me as a superior response to the existence of books with which one doesn't agree, to the strategy employed here. Publish more books! Offer an alternative (and there are MANY, in the world of picture-books) to the stories one finds objectionable. Don't just demand that the books available to the public conform to your own moral compass, as if there were no duty incumbent upon you, as a member of a free society, to persuade people, rather than to dictate to them.

People like to make up their own minds, in this and anything else, and they do not like to feel that others are curtailing their choices, particularly when it comes to the books and other media that they consume. For my own part, I found nothing here that would even remotely have warranted the step take by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, if I were of the opinion that such a step was ever justified. Scrambled Eggs Super! isn't a personal favorite, when it comes to Seuss' oeuvre, but is one I would still recommend, to picture-book readers looking for tales which celebrate a child's imaginative powers. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Mar 26, 2021 |
I don't think I've found a book that's more fun to read out lout to a bunch of kids. ( )
  neverstopreading | Jul 11, 2018 |
Scrambled eggs super! by Dr. Seuss
Peter knows his the best cook he tells Liz. Rhyming children's book about how he discovers a new way to make scrambled eggs.
He has tried all kinds of new things. Hen's eggs are what are used-he has other ideas.
Love all the new silly words, wicked funny.
I received this review book from The Kensington Books and this is my honest opinion. ( )
  jbarr5 | Feb 6, 2018 |
Dr. Seuss is always a good book to read to children. It is very entertaining and rhymes so it can keep their attention. ( )
  ma839 | Oct 20, 2015 |
Summary: This book was about Peter T. Hooper, who made scrambled eggs from exotic animals. He believed that you can make a great creation out of eggs from different animals besides one from a hen. Therefore, he traveled all around the world to try to find different eggs to make scrambled eggs out of. He described the various strategies he had to use to steal the eggs and all the different animals he got the eggs from. He even got some of his friends in on the plan and had them steal eggs too. At the end, he combined all of these eggs together with some other ingredients to make a delicious scrambled egg meal.

Review: I thought this book was a creative way to take a simple thing, like making scrambled eggs, into a fun adventure. Dr. Seuss is always creative when it comes to making up rhymes and creating an effective story line. Overall, I think the main idea of this book was to embrace your imagination and to not be afraid to try new things. In this book, Peter T. Hooper, was very imaginative when he decided to get eggs from all the animals. He was also not afraid to try a whole new scrambled egg creation, even though he knew it could have turned out bad. He also described each animal and how he took them, "and that bird is so mean and that bird is so fast that I had to escape on a Jill-ikka-Jast" (48). Overall, encouraging imagination is very prevalent in this book and I think it is also fun to show children that you can play with words in a book. Peter T. Hooper was also adventurous and ready to explore new places to find what he needed. I thought this book would be great to use for a poetry unit. ( )
  jbaile14 | Nov 28, 2014 |
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I don't like to brag and I don't like to boast,
Said Peter T. Hooper, but speaking of toast
And speaking of kitchens and ketchup and cake
And kettles and stoves and the stuff people bake . . .
Well, I don't like to brag, but I'm telling you, Liz,
That speaking of cooks, I'm the best that there is!
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Tired of scrambled eggs always tasting the same, Peter T. Hooper goes on a great egg hunt for his new recipe.

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