Title: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Author: Dr. Seuss
Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (June 5, 2012)
Audience: ages 3 -8 years
Summary: “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” In his whimsical style and humorous prose, Dr. Seuss addresses the newest group of graduates in the perfect send-off for children starting out in the maze of life, be they nursery school grads or newly minted PhD’s. In this book, taken from a graduation speech given by the master himself, Dr. Seuss craftily lays out the “Great Balancing Act” that is life itself, complete with all the ups and downs it presents. While encouraging us to find the success that lies within us, Seuss offers cautions for the times when we choose the wrong path or find ourselves staring at a dead end or simply find ourselves in the “waiting room” waiting for something else to come our way.
Literary elements at work in the story: What can you say about the literary genius of Dr. Seuss? It truly falls into a category unto itself. With his nonsensical verses and made-up words, Seuss takes the everyday parts of human life and turns them into an adventure.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? Although the person in the story is a male figure, Seuss expertly blends the genders, races, and cultures to create a world of his own where people and animals exist on an equal plane and objects take on a personality of their own.
Theological Conversation Partners: Jesus called and commissioned not only his twelve chosen disciples (Luke 9:1-6), but also seventy others (Luke 10:1-12) with words of encouragement and advice for the mission to which they had been called. They were given power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases and sent out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. They were given instructions on what to take, where to go, how to behave as guests in a home, and how to act when they had finished their assigned tasks. They were warned of rejections they would face along the way and cautioned on how to “move on” with grace and love. Jesus served as their teacher, their guide, their mentor, and their greatest cheerleader – rejoicing in their successes when they returned. (Luke 10:21) They were well-trained and they went on to train others and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the early church was born! (Acts 2:43-47) It is this “passing on of leadership” that provides the foundation for the work of the church today. And like the early church, we, too, experience times of rejoicing, times of disagreement, times of feasting, and times of want. But when our eyes stay fixed on the mission of the proclamation of the Word for the salvation of humankind, we can sing the mantra of Dr. Seuss, saying “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
Faith Talk Questions:
- Dr. Seuss describes life as a “Great Balance Act” filled with opportunities and adventures. Name an opportunity or adventure that you have challenged yourself with recently. What words of encouragement helped you meet the challenge?
- Jesus promised his disciples that they would have help when he was gone in the form of the Holy Spirit who would come as a guide and encourager for them in their daily life and ministry. (John 14:18-27) How do you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your daily life?
- Jesus sent out his disciples to care for others and proclaim the love of God to the world. How do you see that mission acted out in your church? How can you help fulfill that mission?
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.