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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Ye Olde Scope Notes: Are We Sure It’s a Good Idea to Have The Cat in the Hat Teaching Nonfiction???

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*Waving a rickety old cane in the air*

Does it strike anyone as odd that The Cat in the Hat is now one of the most recognizable sources of factual information for children?

I love the Cat in the Hat, but to put a creation of Dr. Seuss (the king of whimsically making stuff up) in charge of explaining real-life things is like putting Guy Fieri in charge of the food pyramid.

One minute he’s basically encouraging Nick and Sally to nhilistically live like there’s no tomorrow and the next he’s preaching about fiscal responsibility? Please.

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One minute he’s tormenting a fish and the next he wants us to bow down to him as the expert on aquatic animals? Come on.

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One minute he’s driving some BS “cleaning up” contraption that could never work in real life and the next he’s talking about great inventors? Is this a joke?

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ONE MINUTE HE’S ENCOURAGING KIDS TO DESTROY THEIR HOUSE AND THE NEXT HE’S TRYING TO TELL THEM HOW TO LIVE RIGHT AND KEEP HYDRATED??? I WILL NOT ACCEPT IT!

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The mixed messages are clear, are they not?

All I’m trying to say here, is are we sure it’s a good idea to have The Cat in the Hat serving up nonfiction?

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. Benji Martin says:

    I completely agree. I’ve wondered about this ridiculous for a while, now. It all goes back to that dumb PBS show.

  2. Anne Clark says:

    YESSSSSSSSSS! It makes absolutely NO sense and I refuse to read these books to my own kids although of course we still have them in the library’s collection.

  3. True. Though, to be fair, I’m far more up in arms over Amelia Bedelia and the Baby. I mean, what psycho would give that woman access to an infant? Most terrifying easy book in the library, hands down.

  4. Benji Martin says:

    Betsy for the win with that response. Sounds like a blog post waiting to be written.

  5. Oh my…PLEASE tell me this is a misplaced April Fools joke!

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