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Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories: 12/05/09
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories has three short stories, one against fascism, one against jealousy and one against bragging. The two my kids enjoy reading most are the first and third, "Yertle the Turtle" and "The Big Brag."
Back when Theodor Geisel was working as a political cartoonist, he drew an anti Hitler cartoon showing a stack of turtles in a V-shape. The caption said "You can't build a substantial V out of turtles!" You can see it reproduced in Dr. Seuss Goes to War by by Richard H. Minear.
Yertle, the despot king turtle, decides he wants to increase his kingdom. Turtle law says he's the king of all he can see. To increase his view and thus his kingdom, he stands on the backs of his turtle subjects. His own lust for power ends up being his literal downfall.
The second story, "Gertrude McFuzz" is about a bird who is jealous of another bird with a more beautiful tail. She goes to great lengths to increase the beauty of her tail but loses the ability to fly in the process. She has to learn to be happy with who she is the way she is.
The final story is "The Big Brag" which reminds me of Sean and his best friend. They love to brag to each other about all the great things they have or all the great things they can do. Their bragging will often times come in the way of actually playing until they are called on it. In this story the bragging pair are rabbit and a bear.
Dr. Seuss Reviews