Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review: The Sneetches and Other Stories

The Sneetches and Other Stories. Dr. Seuss. 1961. Random House. 65 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence of The Sneetches:

Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches
Had Bellies with stars.
The Plain-belly Sneetches
Had none upon thars.
Plot/Premise of The Sneetches: Star-Belly Sneetches and Plain-Belly Sneetches have trouble playing and working together. The Plain-Belly Sneetches are envious of the Stars on the Star-Belly Sneetches. And the Star-Belly Sneetches look down on the Plain Belly sort. Sylvester McMonkey McBean takes advantage of the whole situation with his "Star On" and "Star Off" machine. He makes a LOT of money in the process. Will the Sneeches ever learn?

My thoughts: I think the Apostle Paul would have a lot to say to Sylvester McMonkey McBean, the Plain-Belly Sneetches, and the Star-Belly Sneetches. The truth is Christians can act just as stubborn, just as foolish, just as envious, just as greedy as the Sneetches we meet in the story.

Here are a few words Paul might say:
Love in all sincerity, loathing evil and holding fast to the good. Let love of the Christian community show itself in mutual affection. Esteem others more highly than yourself. With unflagging zeal, aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Let hope keep you joyful; in trouble stand firm; persist in prayer, contribute to the needs of God’s people, and practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13
So no place is left for any human pride in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:29
First sentence of The Zax

One day, making tracks
In the prairie of Prax,
Came a North-Going Zax
And a South-Going Zax.
Plot/Premise of The Zax: A North-Going Zax and a South-Going Zax meet. Neither Zax will budge because, of course, the North-Going Zax will only go North, and the South-Going Zax will only go South. Take a step in the wrong direction?! Never! How long will these two be stubborn?

My thoughts: Have you met a Zax or two in the church? I know I have. Some people just love to argue, to be right, to stand there not budging from their position. I think sometimes its more love of arguing than any one issue. When the Bible speaks of standing firm, I don't think it means like the Zax!

First sentence of Too Many Daves
Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons and she named them all Dave?
Plot/Premise of Too Many Daves: The premise of this one is simple and clearly stated in the first sentence: The McCave family has too many sons named Dave. The joy in this one comes from reading it aloud. All the names she wished she'd chosen. Names like "Hoos-Foos" "Putt-Putt" and "Oliver Boliver Butt."

My thoughts: In this world, it's easy to feel unknown, misunderstood, invisible. But there is a God who knows us. God doesn't have "too many sons" he knows and loves them all. You are known by God. You are loved by God.

First sentence of What Was I Scared Of?

I was walking in the night
And I saw nothing scary.
For I have never been afraid
Of anything. Not very.
Plot/Premise of What Was I Scared Of? The narrator of this one claims he's not scared of anything. But one night when he sees a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them...he becomes very frightened indeed. Will he ever overcome his fear? Should he overcome his fear?

My thoughts: The Bible has a lot to say about anxiety and fear. The narrator in this one is very fearful of the unknown. Aren't we all? The unknown in this instance is a pair of pale green pants. We all face our own unknowns. Time and time again we are pushed into facing our unknowns. We can react with fear and anxiety--dragging our feet. We can react with confidence--our confidence being in the God who is always with us.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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