The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss (2011, Random House) is a collection of seven short stories that were originally published in magazines from 1950 to 1951. They are published together in this one anthology with an introduction by Charles D. Cohen, a renowned Seuss scholar.

I'm thrilled to have this new Seuss collection in the library and can already think of ways to use some of these stories with students!

"The Bippolo Seed" is the classic story of a magical seed able to grant wishes. McKluck the duck wishes for something modest, a week's worth of food, but a cat comes by and persuades him to wish for something more. The two get carried away with their greed and end up losing the seed. And the moral of the story is...

"The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga" is a fantastic trickster tale! A bear is about to gobble up a rabbit when the rabbit gets the clever idea to count the bear's eyelashes and warn him that he's going to die because he has an uneven number of lashes on each side. What to do? Why, the bear must climb up the Zinniga-Zanniga tree to sniff the growing powers of the flowers - while the rabbit runs away!

"Gustav, the Goldfish" tells the tale of a little boy who doesn't follow directions. He feeds his new goldfish, Gustav, a whole box of food instead of the pinch he was instructed. And Gustav grows big as a whale! Oh, how will he ever survive?

"Tadd and Todd" is about a set of identical twins who are always described as two peas in a pod. No one can tell them apart, and Tadd is fed up with being confused with his brother. So, Tadd dyed his hair (and Todd copied him), then changed his outfit and added all sorts of ridiculous accessories to distinguish himself from his twin. But of course, Todd was making the same changes, and in the end, they were both okay with being two peas in a pod.

"Steak for Supper" is an odd little story about a boy who grumbles to himself on his walk home that he has steak for supper every Saturday night. His father has warned him not to talk when he walks because you never know who might be listening. An Ikka overhears the boy and starts following him because he'd like some steak too, and he spreads the word to others. Pretty soon there's a whole crowd following the boy home expecting steak for supper, only to find that tonight they're having stew instead. And the boy has learned his lesson. But is this a lesson to be learned? Hmm, I just don't know.

"The Strange Shirt Spot" reminds of What Happened to Marion's Book?, and I think I just may use it when talking about book care in the library, even though it has nothing to do with a book. A boy has been playing in the dirt and gets a spot on his shirt - he does everything he can to clean the spot, but the spot jumps from one thing to another and ends up right back where it started. What do you think his mother said when she saw it?

"The Great Hungry McBride" is a sort of inspirational story I could see using with students who have no idea what they want to be when they grow up - the kind who don't really think about the future or have any dreams at all. Henry McBride has SO many dreams that he doesn't want to just have one job when he grows up, but instead he'll have five. Reminds me of Oh, the Places You'll Go!

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