By Sarah Meade
I like to think that everyone has that one special book. Maybe they read it over and over again to their children at bedtime. Maybe they listened to a loved one read it over and over to them. Maybe this book brought comfort during a tough time or entertainment during a long journey.
One of my special books is written by the main man of March, Dr. Seuss.
It begins with a warning: Take it SLOWLY. This Book is DANGEROUS!
I’ve always loved that part.
Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss features Fox and Knox. Fox is full of things to say and games to play. The tongue twisters Fox dreams up annoy Knox to no end. He claims, “I can’t blab such blibber blubber! My tongue isn’t made of rubber.” The relationship between Fox and Knox is reminiscent of the one between Sam-I-Am and Grouchy Guy in Green Eggs and Ham. It’s also like the dynamic between the zany Cat in the Hat and the stern goldfish in the pot. Seuss knew how to write a charming back-and-forth between his characters.
As a child, I loved reading books by Dr. Seuss, but Fox in Socks was special. I had my own personal copy to read (and reread) with my name scrawled in the front cover. As a high school senior, I read aloud Fox in Socks to a class of second graders. As an elementary school teacher, I read this story at least once a year for a decade. The last year I taught, I read it to several classes while I was hugely pregnant with my son. I got a reputation for reading the tricky tongue twisters at top speed.
This week I was honored to read Fox in Socks to students at my former school. I explained that it’s my favorite book by the author. Then I plunged in.
I babbled on about Ben’s band, Bim’s band, big bands, and pig bands. I chattered about a Goo-Goose chewing gluey new blue goo. I tripped over a few words about Luke Luck and his duck licking and liking lakes. I triumphed through to the end about tweetle beetles battling with paddles in a puddle. Smiling at the students, I read the last question in the book: “Now is your Tongue Numb?”
I hope my reading of Fox in Socks inspired a student- or two or a few- to pick up books that might seem intimidating at first. And to dive in!
Saturday, March 2, 2019 is Read Across America Day. Click here for more information.
What’s that special book for you? Have you shared it with someone you love lately?