Title // How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Author // Dr. Seuss
Publication Month // June 1999
Publisher // Random House USA
Genre // Children’s Book, Christmas
Dr. Seuss’s small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His “wonderful, awful” idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all.
Looking quite out of place and very disturbing in his makeshift Santa get-up, the Grinch slithers down chimneys with empty bags and stealing the Whos’ presents, their food, even the logs from their humble Who-fires. He takes the ramshackle sleigh to Mt. Crumpit to dump it and waits to hear the sobs of the Whos when they wake up and discover the trappings of Christmas have disappeared. Imagine the Whos’ dismay when they discover the evil-doings of Grinch in his anti-Santa guise. But what is that sound? It’s not sobbing, but singing! Children simultaneously adore and fear this triumphant, twisted Seussian testimonial to the undaunted cheerfulness of the Whos, the transcendent nature of joy, and of course, the growth potential of a heart that’s two sizes too small.
This holiday classic is perfect for reading aloud to your favorite little Whos.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” (Dr. Seuss)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic book to read with children during the holiday season and it’s easy to see why. Great moral lessons hidden beneath lyrical storytelling that places as much emphasis on the ridiculous as it does on the important message it hopes to tell make this a fantastic read.
This book – and the author – are staples of my own childhood, but the writing still resonates with young people today. Perhaps, even more so, in this age of consumerism.
The Grinch, as a character, is wonderful. When we meet him, he’s not a character anyone would like to know – he’s offended by the idea of Christmas, and more than that, he seeks to take it away from others. Yet, over the course of the book, the Grinch begins to change. He begins to see the way his actions impact on others, and he grows as a result.
Even if you take away the Christmas trimmings of this story, this is a wonderful story about how someone can change. (But the Christmas elements are delightful, set amongst the whimsical land of the Whos.)
Littered with beautiful quotes, sentiments and hope, this book is a five star read.