A limerick is a form of verse humorous and rude, in five-line, predominantly anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA, in which the first and fifth line rhyme, while the third and fourth lines are shorter and share a different rhyme. The following example is a limerick of unknown origin: The form appeared in England in the early years of the 18th century, it was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century. Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene, cites similar opinions by Arnold Bennett and George Bernard Shaw, describing the clean limerick as a "periodic fad and object of magazine contests rising above mediocrity". From a folkloric point of view, the form is transgressive; the standard form of a limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first and fifth rhyming with one another and having three feet of three syllables each. The defining "foot" of a limerick's meter is the anapaest, but catalexis and extra-syllable rhyme can make limericks appear amphibrachic.
The first line traditionally introduces a person and a place, with the place appearing at the end of the first line and establishing the rhyme scheme for the second and fifth lines. In early limericks, the last line was essentially a repeat of the first line, although this is no longer customary. Within the genre, ordinary speech stress is distorted in the first line, may be regarded as a feature of the form: "There was a young man from the coast. Exploitation of geographical names exotic ones, is common, has been seen as invoking memories of geography lessons in order to subvert the decorum taught in the schoolroom; the most prized limericks incorporate a kind of twist, which may be revealed in the final line or lie in the way the rhymes are intentionally tortured, or both. Many limericks show some form of internal rhyme, alliteration or assonance, or some element of word play. Verses in limerick form are sometimes combined with a refrain to form a limerick song, a traditional humorous drinking song with obscene verses.
David Abercrombie, a phonetician, takes a different view of the limerick, one which seems to accord better with the form. It is this: Lines one and five have three feet, to say three stressed syllables, while lines three and four have two stressed syllables; the number and placement of the unstressed syllables is rather flexible. There is at least one unstressed syllable between the stresses but there may be more – as long as there are not so many as to make it impossible to keep the equal spacing of the stresses; the origin of the name limerick for this type of poem is debated. The name is taken to be a reference to the City or County of Limerick in Ireland sometimes to the Maigue Poets, may derive from an earlier form of nonsense verse parlour game that traditionally included a refrain that included "Will you come to Limerick?"Until the first known usage in England was from 1898 and in the United States from 1902, but in recent years several earlier examples have been documented, the earliest being an 1880 reference, in a Saint John, New Brunswick newspaper, to an well-known tune, Tune: Won't you come to Limerick.
The limerick form was popularized by Edward Lear in his first Book of Nonsense and a work, More Nonsense, Rhymes, etc.. Lear wrote 212 limericks considered nonsense literature, it was customary at the time for limericks to accompany an absurd illustration of the same subject, for the final line of the limerick to be a variant of the first line ending in the same word, but with slight differences that create a nonsensical, circular effect. The humour is not in the "punch line" ending but rather in the tension between its lack; the following is an example of one of Edward Lear's limericks. Lear's limericks were typeset in three or four lines, according to the space available under the accompanying picture; the limerick form is so well known. The following example is of unknown origin: Other parodies deliberately break the rhyme scheme, like the following example, attributed to W. S. Gilbert: Comedian John Clarke has parodied Lear's style: The British wordplay and recreational mathematics expert Leigh Mercer devised the following mathematical limerick: 12 + 144 + 20 + 3 4 7 + = 9 2 + 0 This is read as follows: Chastushka Clerihew Double dactyl Lecherous Limericks, a book of limericks by Isaac Asimov Light verse Nonsense literature Quintain "The Negotiation Limerick File", a song by Beastie Boys rapped in the form of a limerick There on
Judith Viorst is an American writer, newspaper journalist, psychoanalysis researcher. She is known for her children's literature; this includes The Tenth Good Thing About Barney and the Alexander series of short picture books, which includes Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which has sold over two million copies. Viorst is a 1952 graduate of the Newark College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. In 1968, Viorst signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. In the latter part of the 1970s, after two decades of writing for children and adults, she turned to the study of Freudian psychology. In 1981, she became a research graduate at Washington Psychoanalytic Institute after six years of study. A native of Newark, New Jersey, Viorst was raised in Maplewood, New Jersey, attended Columbia High School. A graduate of the class of 1948, Viorst was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1990.
She lives in Washington, D. C. with her husband, political writer Milton Viorst. They have three grown sons: Anthony Jacob Viorst, an attorney practicing in the Denver, area, she received the 2011 Foremother Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Research Center for Women & Families. Among Viorst's books for children is the "Alexander" series, whose narrator is a 5-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two brothers and Nick, who are named for Viorst's own three sons. Viorst's book Sad Underwear is a collection of poems that examines a wide variety of feelings and experiences from a child's point of view. Viorst's books for adults include nonfiction psychology books such as Grown-up Marriage, Imperfect Control, Necessary Losses, she has written nine books of poetry including Unexpectedly Eighty and Other Adaptations, When Did I Stop Being Twenty and Other Injustices: Selected Poems from Single to Mid-Life and People and other Aggravations. Viorst is a newspaper columnist and has written for The New York Times and The Washington Post, has been a contributing editor to Redbook magazine.
She penned the musical Love & Shrimp with Shelly Markam. The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati hosted a performance of Love & Shrimp, starring Deb Girdler, Pamela Myers and Shelley Bamberger, in the spring of 1999; the Wonderful World of Science, edited by Shirley Moore and Viorst — science experiments and recreations Projects: Space 150 Science Experiments Step-by-step, illus. Dennis Telesford The Natural World: A guide to North American wildlife The Village Square, illus. Tom Ballenger The Changing Earth, illus. Feodor Rimsky Sunday Morning: a story, illus. Hilary Knight I'll Fix Anthony, illus. Arnold Lobel, Harper & Row, Sam: Safety When You Walk, illus. Paul Galdone My Mama Says there Aren't any Zombies, Vampires, Demons, Fiends, Goblins, or Things, illus. Kay Chorao The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, illus. Erik Blegvad The Good-bye Book, illus. Kay Chorao Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest, illus. Robin Preiss Glasser Just in Case, illus. Diana Cain Bluthenthal And Two Boys Booed, illus.
Sophie Blackall If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and their Parents, illus. Lynne Cherry Sad Underwear and Other Complications: More Poems for Children and Their Parents, illus. Richard Hull Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, illustrated by Ray Cruz, New York: Atheneum Books, ISBN 0-689-70428-3 Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday illus. Ray Cruz, Atheneum, ISBN 978-0-689-30602-0 Alexander, Who Is Not Going to Move illus. Robin Preiss Glasser "in the style of Ray Cruz", Atheneum, ISBN 0-689-31958-4 Alexander, Who's Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever illus. Isidre Monés "in the style of Ray Cruz", Atheneum, ISBN 978-1-48142353-3Omnibus edition: Absolutely, Positively Alexander: The Complete Stories Related titlesAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: A Musical Alexander and the Wonderful, Excellent, Terrific Ninety Days: An Almost Completely Honest Account of What Happened to Our Family When Our Youngest came to Live with Us for Three Months — an adult memoir of Judith Viorst and her real son, Alexander Lulu and the Brontosaurus, illus.
Lane Smith, Atheneum, ISBN 978-1-4169-9961-4 Lulu Walks the Dogs, illus. Lane Smith, Atheneum, ISBN 978-1-4424-3579-7 Lulu's Mysterious Mission, illus. Kevin Cornell, Atheneum, ISBN 978-1-4424-9746-7 People and Other Aggravations Yes, Married: A Saga of Love and Complaint A Visit from St. Nicholas to a Liberated Household illustrated by Norman Green Love and Guilt and the Meaning of Life, Etc. illustrated by John Alcorn Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow Murdering Mr. Monti: A Merry Little Tale of Sex and Violence Imperfect Control: Our Lifelong Struggles With Power and Surrender You're Officially a Grown-up: The Graduate's Guide to Freedom, Responsibility and Personal Hygiene Grown-Up Marriage: What We Kn
Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t
The Poetry Foundation is a Chicago-based American foundation created to promote poetry in the wider culture. It was formed from Poetry magazine, which it continues to publish, with a 2003 gift of $200 million from philanthropist Ruth Lilly. According to the foundation's Web site, it is "committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture, it exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience." In partial furtherance of this objective, the Foundation runs. Poets who have blogged at Harriet on behalf of The Poetry Foundation include Ange Mlinko, Christian Bök, Stephen Burt, Rigoberto González. In addition, the Foundation provides several awards for poets and poetry, it hosts seminars, exhibitions, a poetry library. The Poetry Foundation is a charitable, 501 organization. Donations are tax-deductible; the foundation is the successor to the Modern Poetry Association, founded in 1941. The magazine, was established in 1912 by Harriet Monroe. Monroe was its first publisher until her death in 1936.
Today, the Poetry Foundation is one of the largest literary foundations in the world. In 2003, Poetry magazine received a grant from the estate of Ruth Lilly said to be worth over $100 million, but which grew to be about $200 million when it was given out; the grant added to her substantial prior contributions. The magazine learned in 2001. Before announcing the gift, the magazine waited a year and reconfigured its governing board, concerned with fund-raising; the foundation was created, Joseph Parisi, editor of the magazine for two decades, volunteered to head the new organization. Christian Wiman, a young critic and poet, succeeded to the editorship in 2003. Parisi resigned from the foundation after a few months; the new board used a recruiting agency to find John Barr, a former executive and published poet, to head the foundation. Robert Polito, the respected poet and critic who founded and directed the graduate writing program at the New School, succeeded Barr in 2013 and served until 2015.
In December, 2015, Henry S. Bienen, President Emeritus of Northwestern University was named president. Part of the Lilly grant was used to build the Poetry Center in Chicago; the Center, designed by John Ronan, opened in 2011. The center holds a library open to the public, houses reading spaces, hosts school and tour groups, provides office and editorial space for the Poetry Foundation and magazine; the Poetry Foundation hosts a schedule of events. These include poetry readings, staged plays, artist collaborations, exhibitions; the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute provides an independent forum to convene discussions about poetry. Poets, scholars and others are invited to share ideas about the intellectual and practical needs of the poetry form, to generate solutions to benefit the art; the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest was created in 2006 by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts to increase awareness of poetry through performance and competition. It engages the literature and performance of poetry.
The contest gives out a $20,000 award to the first-place winner, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place. Participating schools receive cash prizes; the Foundation's awards seek to bring recognition to poets and poetry. The Pegasus Awards are a series of awards to poetic forms, they are given annually but may be given less often. The Young People's Poet Laureate is a two-year appointment to an author of children's poetry; the Ruth Lilly Prize is an annual award given for lifetime achievement in poetry to U. S. poets. The Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship is awarded to aspiring U. S. poets to support writing. The 30,000-volume library presents a wide selection of modern and contemporary poetry in English or translation, it includes rare volumes. It includes representative samples of earlier eras, includes a 3000-volume children's section. In addition to the reading room, there are listening booths for poet audio recordings and broadcasts related to poetry and interactive displays, it is open to the public Tuesday through Friday with a children's day on Wednesday.
List of museums and cultural institutions in Chicago Official website First Foundation president John Barr's annual letters to the poetry community 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012
A Light in the Attic
A Light in the Attic is a collection of poems by the American poet and children's author Shel Silverstein. It was first published by Harper & Row in 1981; the poems for children are accompanied by illustrations created by Shel Silverstein. Attempts have been made to ban the book from some libraries, parents claiming that the poem "How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes" encourages messiness and disobedience; the poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony" led to more criticism for describing the death of a girl after her parents refuse to buy her a pony. This led the book to be banned by the Fruitland Park Elementary School in Florida; the decision, was reversed by an advisory committee of parents and teachers. Other complaints included the mention of supernatural themes, including demons and ghosts. A Light in the Attic How Many, How Much Moon-Catchin' Net Hammock How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes Stop Thief! The Sitter Prayer of the Selfish Child What Did? Shaking Signals Picture Puzzle Piece Put Something In Monsters I've Met Rock'n' Roll Band Something Missing Memorizin' Mo Somebody Has to Reflection Fancy Dive Here Comes The Dragon of Grindly Grun Blame Messy Room Never Day After Halloween Wavy Hair Longmobile Backward Bill Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats Snake Problem Bear in There Superstitious The Pirate Hurk Anchored Unscratchable Itch Squishy Touch Important?
Thumb Face Eight Balloons Ations Musical Career Anteater Buckin' Bronco Snap! Overdues Wild Strawberries How to Make a Swing With No Rope or Board or Nails Gumeye Ball Hot Dog Adventures of a Frisbee Come Skating The Meehoo with an Exactlywatt Cloony the Clown Tryin' On Clothes Shapes Tired Prehistoric My Guitar Spelling Bee Always Sprinkle Pepper Peckin' It's Hot! Turtle Crowded Tub Channels Hippo's Hope Whatif Sour Face Ann The Climbers Rockabye The Little Boy and the Old Man Surprise! Ticklish Tom The Nailbiter The Fly Is In Strange Wind One Two Tusk, Tusk Captain Blackbeard Did What? Magic Carpet Outside or Underneath? It's All the Same to the Clam Hula Eel Bored Standing Is Stupid Who Ordered the Broiled Face? The Man in the Iron Pail Mask Gooloo Headache Quick Trip Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony Hiccup Cure The Painter Nobody Zebra Question The Sword-Swallower Arrows The Toad and the Kangaroo Play Ball Friendship Poemsicle Senses Hinges Fear Batty Union for Children's Rights Hitting Deaf Donald Have Fun Dog's Day Skin Stealer Ladies First Frozen Dream The Lost Cat God's Wheel Shadow Race Clarence Rhino Pen Push Button Kidnapped!
Suspense Dinner Guest In Search of Cinderella Almost Perfect Pie Problem The Oak and the Rose They've Put a Brassiere on the Camel This Bridge Winner of the 1984 William Allen White Children's Book Award
Revolting Rhymes is a collection of Roald Dahl poems published in 1982. A parody of traditional folk tales in verse, Dahl gives a re-interpretation of six well-known fairy tales, featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after finishes; the poems are illustrated by Quentin Blake. It is the shortest children's book. There are a total of six poems in the book, each of the featured fairy tales done in such a way that they tell what happened. In Cinderella, the plot stayed true to the original tale until one of the ugly sisters switches her shoe with the one Cinderella left behind at the ball. However, when the prince sees that the shoe fits one of the sisters, he decides not to marry her, instead has his men chop off her head on the spot while she is standing; when the prince removes the head of the second sister and makes to do the same to Cindy, she wishes to be married instead to a decent man. Her fairy godmother marries her to a simple, regular jam-maker. In Jack and the Beanstalk, the beanstalk grows golden leaves towards the top.
Jack's mother sends him up to fetch them, but when Jack hears the giant threaten to eat him after the giant smells him, he descends without collecting any of the gold. Jack's mother ascends herself after accusing Jack of being smelly, but is eaten. Undeterred, Jack decides to bathe, climbs up and collects the leaves himself, as the giant is now unable to smell him since he is clean. Now rich, Jack resolves to bathe every day. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs begins familiarly, but after the huntsman agrees not to kill Snow White, she takes a job as a cook and maid for seven former jockeys. Although those jockeys are compulsive gamblers on horse racing, they are not successful. So Snow White resolves to help them, sneaks back to steal the magic mirror, which can predict the winning horse and makes the seven jockeys millionaires, with the moral that "Gambling is not a sin / Provided that you always win". Goldilocks and the Three Bears has a different set-up to the rest of the poems, in that the story is kept the same as the traditional tale, but with continual comments from the narrator about how appalling Goldilocks is and how anyone with any sense would take the bears' side over hers.
After the end, the narrator says that they would prefer an ending where the three bears come back and eat Goldilocks. In Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, based on Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf enters the grandmother's house and devours her before putting on her clothes to eat Little Red Riding Hood next. Riding Hood is not disturbed however, calmly pulls a pistol out of her knickers and shoots the wolf – yielding her a new wolfskin coat. In The Three Little Pigs, the wolf blows down the houses of straw and sticks, devouring the first two pigs; the third house of bricks is too strong, so the wolf resolves to come back that evening with dynamite. The third pig has other plans and asks Little Red Riding Hood to come and deal with the wolf; the sharpshooter, Red Riding Hood gains a second wolfskin coat and a pigskin travelling case. An audio book of Dahl's Revolting Rhymes was read by Timothy West and Prunella Scales. A version was narrated by Scottish actor Alan Cumming; the book, as explained above, was adapted into an OVA, done in the style of Quentin Blake's illustrations.
The book was adapted into a two-part CGI special for BBC One, first shown on 26 and 27 December 2016. It was nominated at the 90th Academy Awards for Best Animated Short. In 2014, supermarket chain Aldi pulled Revolting Rhymes from its shelves due complaints over the prince from Cinderella using the word "slut". Subsequent reprints replaced the offensive word with "mutt"
The Cat in the Hat
The Cat in the Hat is a children's book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss and first published in 1957; the story centers on a tall anthropomorphic cat, who wears a red and white-striped hat and a red bow tie. The Cat shows up at her brother one rainy day when their mother is away. Despite the repeated objections of the children's fish, the Cat shows the children a few of his tricks in an attempt to entertain them. In the process he and his companions, Thing One and Thing Two, wreck the house; the children and the fish become more and more alarmed until the Cat produces a machine that he uses to clean everything up and disappears just before the children's mother comes home. Geisel created the book in response to a debate in the United States about literacy in early childhood and the ineffectiveness of traditional primers such as those featuring Dick and Jane. Geisel was asked to write a more entertaining primer by William Spaulding, whom he had met during World War II and, director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin.
However, because Geisel was under contract with Random House, the two publishers agreed to a deal: Houghton Mifflin published the education edition, sold to schools, Random House published the trade edition, sold in bookstores. Geisel gave varying accounts of how he created The Cat in the Hat, but in the version he told most he was so frustrated with the word list from which he could choose words to write his story that he decided to scan the list and create a story based on the first two words he found that rhymed; the words he found were hat. The book was met with immediate commercial success. Reviewers praised it as an exciting alternative to traditional primers. Three years after its debut, the book had sold over a million copies, in 2001 Publishers Weekly listed the book at number nine on its list of best-selling children's books of all time; the book's success led to the creation of Beginner Books, a publishing house centered on producing similar books for young children learning to read.
In 1983, Geisel said, "It is the book I'm proudest of because it had something to do with the death of the Dick and Jane primers." The book was adapted into a 2003 live-action film. The story begins as a girl named Sally and her brother, who serves as the narrator of the book, sit alone in their house on a cold, rainy day, staring wistfully out the window, they hear a loud bump, followed by the arrival of the Cat in the Hat, a tall anthropomorphic cat in a red and white striped hat and a red bow tie. The Cat proposes to entertain the children with some tricks; the children's pet fish refuses. The Cat responds by balancing the fish on the tip of his umbrella; the game becomes trickier, as the Cat balances himself on a ball and tries to balance lots of household items on his limbs until he falls on his head, dropping everything he was holding. The fish admonishes him again; the Cat brings in a big red box from outside, from which he releases two identical characters, or "Things" as he refers them to, with blue hair and red suits called Thing One and Thing Two.
The Things cause more trouble, such as flying kites in the house, knocking pictures off the wall and picking up the children's mother's new polka-dotted gown. All this comes to an end. In response, Sally's brother catches the Things in a net, the Cat ashamed, stores them back in the big red box, he takes it out the front door as the fish and the children survey the mess he has made. But the Cat soon returns, riding a machine that picks everything up and cleans the house, delighting the fish and the children; the Cat leaves just before their mother arrives, the fish and the children are back where they started at the beginning of the story. As she steps in, the mother asks the children what they did while she was out, but the children are hesitant and do not answer; the story ends with the question, "What would you do if your mother asked you?" Theodor Geisel, writing as Dr. Seuss, created The Cat in the Hat in response to the May 24, 1954, Life magazine article by John Hersey titled "Why Do Students Bog Down on First R?
A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading". In the article, Hersey was critical of school primers like those featuring Dick and Jane: In the classroom boys and girls are confronted with books that have insipid illustrations depicting the slicked-up lives of other children... All feature abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls.... In bookstores anyone can buy brighter, livelier books featuring strange and wonderful animals and children who behave i.e. sometimes misbehave... Given incentive from school boards, publishers could do as well with primers. After detailing many issues contributing to the dilemma connected with student reading levels, Hersey asked toward the end of the article: Why should not have pictures that widen rather than narrow the associative richness the children give to the words they illustrate—drawings like those of the wonderfully imaginative geniuses among children's illustrators, Howard Pyle, "Dr. Seuss", Walt Disney? This article caught the attention of William Spaulding, who had met Geisel during the war and, the director of Houghton Mifflin's education division.
Spaulding had read the best-selling 1955 book Why Johnny Can't Read by Rudolf Flesch. Flesch, like Hersey, criticized primers as boring but criticized them for teaching reading through word recognition rather than phon