What to Read After... Dr Seuss

Published on: 14 July 2019 Author: Anna McKerrow

Dr Seuss's classic stories are still so popular, but if you've exhausted his back catalogue, what should you try next? We're here to help... and we want your ideas too!

The Cat in the Hat

Dr Seuss published over 60 books during his career, which have spawned numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, five feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. But if you need to move on from The Lorax and The Cat in the Hat, what else might you try?

For books that help us learn about words and rhyme

Don't Hug the Pug

Don't Hug the Pug

Quick Quack Quentin by Kes Gray and Jim Field is a picture book that also teaches us about spelling and the sounds of words in a very fun way, while Robin Jacobs and Matthew Hodson's Don't Hug the Pug is a hilarious (and toilet-humour oriented) picture book which uses the words that rhyme with 'pug'.

Alternatively, the rhyming text in Axel Scheffler's Flip Flap Ocean can be cut up and recombined in so many different ways that will amuse kids - and they can create their own mash-up hybrid sea animals too.

For some other great rhyming books

Car Car Truck Jeep

Car, Car, Truck, Jeep

You could try Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt's bouncy Car, Car, Truck, Jeep, which follows the rhyme of 'Baa, Baa, Black Sheep' with an original twist, perfect for toddlers.

For slightly older readers, Ten Fat Sausages by Tor Freeman and Michelle Robinson adopts another well-known rhyme with hilariously terrible consequences for the unfortunate sausages involved. Alternatively, for a fun picture book about the difficulties of rhyme, Adam Rex's Nothing Rhymes with Orange takes a Seuss-esque approach to the matter with a surprisingly heartfelt outcome.

For more unusual characters

How the Borks Became

How the Borks Became

If your kids love the strangeness of the Dr Seuss characters, they might like Garth Jennings and Sara Ogilvie's The Wildest Cowboy, in which Jennings' Seuss-like rhyme tells the story of a distinctly odd cowboy bear.

Elsewhere, Jonathan Emmett and Elys Dolan's How The Borks Became is a bizarre, Seuss-ian (yet strangely sensible) story based on the theory of evolution. And older readers will appreciate Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat, in which a suitably dream-like journey transports a bored child to exotic locations.

For more repetition

Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear

Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear

Young fans of the repetitive nature of Seuss classics like Green Eggs and Ham will also enjoy Loo Queue by Nicholas Allan, while Annie Kubler's Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! is a perfect baby board book featuring all the alliteration, rhyme and repetition you could ask for.

Finally, Emily Gravett's Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear repeats just four words in a delightful book for little ones.

Your suggestions

The front cover of Bottoms Up by Jeanne Willis and Adam Stower

Bottoms Up

As always, we asked for your ideas about What to Read After Dr Seuss, and as always, you came up with some wonderful suggestions! Here are some of our favourites:

  • On Twitter, @scribblestreet suggested Bottoms Up! by Jeanne Willis and Adam Stower, describing it as 'a wonderfully cheeky picture book with a distinctly Seussian feel'.
  • @thebookseekers recommended the 'classic' Each, Peach, Pear, Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, while over on Facebook, Helen and Louise agreed that the Oi! books by Kes Gray and Jim Field are worth a look.
  • Back on Twitter, @ELNamwanje recommended 'anything by Sandra Boynton', while @tonydoesbooks said: 'I'd always edge to Dahl, but Joan Aiken is a good step up too.'

The front cover of My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes

  • It was all about My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton and Lynley Dodd for @theconsulargirl: 'More fantastical rhyming couplets and gorgeous illustrations. Loads of fun actions to do too! Even The Cat in the Hat needs a cardboard box.' (Lynley Dodd also got a bit of love from @Chicken_Butty, who loves Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy.
  • Elsewhere, @Pilar88093320 suggested Andy Cutbill and Russell Ayto's The Cow That Laid an Egg 
    and @Twickermum said: 'Poems like 'Disobedience' by AA Milne have similar joyful use of rhythm and rhyme.'
  • Finally, @JennyHolderLiv recommended A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell thanks to its 'wonderfully playful use of language and the gorgeous accompanying illustrations'. That little lot should keep you busy!

Do keep sending in your thoughts - we'd love to hear them! Either head into the comments below or get on Twitter or Instagram @BookTrust using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter.

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