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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

THE CAT IN THE HAT



[Whole story read at Multicultural Week, lecture on USA, 10th May]

"The Cat in the Hat" is a children's book by Dr. Seuss and perhaps the most famous, featuring a tall, anthropomorphic, mischievous cat, wearing a tall, red and white-striped hat and a red bow tie. He also carries a pale blue umbrella. With the series of Beginner Books that The Cat inaugurated, Seuss promoted both his name and the cause of elementary literacy in the United States of America.

In the first book featuring the character ("The Cat in the Hat", 1957), the Cat brings a cheerful, exotic and exuberant form of chaos to a house with two young kids, brother and sister, one rainy day while their mother leaves them unattended. The Cat performs all sorts of wacky tricks—the Cat at one point balances a teacup, some milk, a cake, three books, the Fish, a rake, a toy boat, a toy man, a red fan, and his umbrella to amuse the children, with mixed results, while the pet-fish gets angry. Then, the Cat gets a box from outside. Inside the box are two creatures named Thing One and Thing Two, who begin to fly kites in the house. The Cat's funny tricks are vainly opposed by the family pet, a sapient and articulate fish. The children (Sally and her unnamed older brother, who serves as the narrator) ultimately prove exemplary latchkey* children, capturing the Things with a net and bringing the Cat under control. To make up for the chaos he has caused, he cleans up the house on his way out, disappearing a second before the mother arrives.

The book has been popular since its publication, and a logo featuring the Cat adorns all Dr. Seuss publications and animated films produced after "The Cat in the Hat". Seuss wrote the book because he felt that there should be more entertaining and fun material for beginning readers. From a literary point of view, the book is a feat of skill, since it simultaneously maintains a strict triple meter, keeps to a tiny vocabulary, and tells an entertaining tale. Literary critics occasionally write recreational essays about the work, having fun with issues such as the absence of the mother and the psychological or symbolic characterizations of Cat, Things, and Fish.

More than 11 million copies of "The Cat in the Hat" have been printed. It has been translated into more than 12 different languages. In particular, it has been translated into Latin with the title "Cattus Petasatus"

A beloved favorite, this Dr. Seuss classic comes to life in an animated adaptation. Impulsive and imaginative, the Cat in the Hat romps through the house dispelling boredom for a brother and sister on a rainy day — naturally, only while Mum is away!


"The Cat in the Hat" is a 2003 American slapstick comedy film loosely based on the 1957 book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.


Video trailer of the 2003:

[*latchkey children = children who have the key of their house to go back in after school because their parents are working]

Tatiana & Charlene reading "The Cat in the Hat" at our school library in front of their class-mates and German exchange students on Tuesday, May 10th.

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