Janet Hamilton, December 10, 2006 (view all comments by Janet Hamilton)
It?s time to rediscover The Butter Battle Book! This Dr. Seuss book that appeared originally in 1984, makes fun of the insane arms race in which the world was then engaged. It is brilliantly appropriate again today for parents and teachers who do not want to be in denial about the warfare in the world and do want young people to see how ridiculous humans can be in their opposition to each other. Presented in the zany rhyme and whacky illustration style for which Seuss is famous, The Butter Battle Book begins with a grandfather telling his grandson about the wall between their people, the Yooks, and their neighbors, the Zooks. The Zooks and the Yooks with their irreconcilable differences and escalating weapons production provide a satirical laugh with a light touch at a seriously heavy subject. The war between the Zooks who eat their bread with butter side down and the Yooks who eat their bread with butter side up begins with primitive sling shots and progresses through a fantastical history of warfare to the point of bomb shelters and a final Big-Boy Boomeroo bomb dropping standoff. The inconclusive ending is perfect for provoking discussion on how Zooks and Yooks might alternative ways to solve their problems. In fact, this entire book could be an excellent manual for peace educators to use with humans of all ages
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Random House Books for Young Readers -
"Provocative, packs an allegorical punch. The parade of increasingly elaborate (and ridiculous) armaments makes a telling point."
by School Library Journal,
"Dr. Seuss chronicles the feud between the Yooks and the Zooks from slingshots through sophisticated weaponry, until each side has the capacity to destroy the world. The language amuses, the drawings are zesty and humorous, and the demand for this book will be large."
The Butter Battle Book, Dr. Seuss's classic cautionary tale, introduces readers to the important lesson of respecting differences. The Yooks and Zooks share a love of buttered bread, but animosity brews between the two groups because they prefer to enjoy the tasty treat differently. The timeless and topical rhyming text is an ideal way to teach young children about the issues of tolerance and respect. Whether in the home or in the classroom, The Butter Battle Book is a must-have for readers of all ages.
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