The Cat in the Hat and Other Stories

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”

Dr. Seuss

Well, I did warn you. As Serena said last night on Holby City (why, oh why, do I know these things?), I am scraping the bottom of a very deep barrel.

It’s not the story. Everyone loves The Cat in the Hat, it is simply a fact of the world. (I hear they have even managed to make a film out of it, though how this has been achieved I can’t imagine, since the book is all of ten pages long. Perhaps they got Peter Jackson to adapt it.) A cat wearing a hat rocks up at a random house and does silly things to entertain the bored children living there. No-one knows why. It is just what happens.

Well, Adrian Edmonson’s reading of The Cat in the Hat (this is, of course, an audiobook) is quite good: it really encapsulates that childhood nostalgia, the sheer fun of the nonsense-poem. It’s the “Other Stories” part that annoys me, really. Fox in Socks is literally just a list of random words, and Green Eggs and Ham is little better, although it does have a nice message about trying things before you say you hate them. There’s also The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, which is not as good as the original (possibly because I can’t see the illustrations). I don’t know, perhaps if I was five years old I’d enjoy this more. As it is, it’s really only the nostalgia of The Cat in the Hat that appeals to me here.

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