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Ruminations: Dr. Seuss Meets the iPod Generation

Ruminations: Dr. Seuss Meets the iPod Generation

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For years, generations even, the books of Dr. Seuss (Theodor "Ted" Seuss Geisel) have been favorites. Well-worn and well-loved copies have been treasured legacies that have encouraged the imaginations of millions of readers. With the fanciful drawings of the colorful characters of Seussville and the enchanting stories told in their own special ways, it comes as no surprise that they continue in popularity year in and year out.

While they found new lives in animated television productions and live action movies, it cannot be denied that the telling of these tales from one generation to another is a part of their appeal. Where once a parent read one of these stories to a son or daughter, now that same child may share the story with their own child -- all the while still seeing and hearing the magical tales as if it was for the first time again.

But with the rise of technology, these tales have sprouted new wings as they have gone first to record albums, then to tape cassettes, then to home video, the Silver Screen, the Broadway stage and now? Why of course, to the iPod!

Image courtesy of Apple Computer, Inc.

This past Tuesday, as part of its weekly release of new products, Apple's iTunes Music Store brought a new series of unabridged audio books from Audible.com to listeners – those of Dr. Seuss. This series of recordings brings the Seuss canon to a new generation using the delivery channel of the 21st Century and at only $2.95 each.

Check out this list of titles and who is doing the reading of them:

The Cat In The Hat – read by Kelsey Grammer

The Cat In The Hat Comes Back – read by Kelsey Grammer

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? – read by John Cleese

Dr. Seuss's ABC – read by Jason Alexander

Fox In Sox – read by David Hyde Pierce

Gertrude McFuzz & The Big Brag – read by John Lithgow

Green Eggs And Ham – read by Jason Alexander

Hop On Pop – read by David Hyde Pierce

Horton Hatches The Egg – read by Billy Crystal

Horton Hears A Who – read by Dustin Hoffman

How The Grinch Stole Christmas – read by Walter Matthau

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut – read by Michael McKean

I'm Not Going To Get Up Today – read by Jason Alexander

Oh Say Can You Say? – read by Michael McKean

Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! – read by Michael McKean

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish – read by David Hyde Pierce

The Lorax – read by Ted Danson

Thidwich, The Big-Hearted Moose – read by Mercedes McCambridge

Yertle The Turtle – read by John Lithgow



Image courtesy of Apple Computer, Inc.

I particularly enjoyed hearing Walter Matthau's reading of the Grinch. As fond as I will always be of Boris Karloff's patently grinchy tones in the 1966 television animated version, Matthau brings his own brand of foul to the telling of the tale. As well many of the other readers of these new audio books make good use of experience from their role in various animated productions. All in all, a good time!

So if you're looking for a new way to enjoy an old favorite or even just out search for something new to enjoy on the daily commute, check these out. And while you're at it, check out the rest of the audio books on the iTunes Music Store. Some interesting surprises await…

 

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  • Actually, they went -directly- from audiobook to iTunes, as these recordings had already come out for the Seuss 50th a few years back--

    And having heard it, may I recommend David Hyde-Pierce (of, ahem, "Treasure Planet" fame)'s hilariously understated readings of "One Fish Two Fish" and "Fox in Socks", Kelsey Grammar's perfect casting for the "Cat in the Hat"'s, and John Cleese's to-the-note Seuss cadences on "...How Lucky".
    (As for the others...ehh.  Michael McKean breezes through "Oh Say..." and Ted Danson is suitably celebrity-green angry on "The Lorax", but there's only so much that Jason Alexander can do with an audio-only "ABC".)
  • ARGH!

    You misspelled "Seuss," Roger - over and over and OVER - but it's spelled right in the link to his website?

    I'm a tad bit obsessed with misspellings, but that one's going to drive me crazy for a while...
  • I don't like misspellings either so it has now been fixed.
    Combine too little sleep and not enough hours in the day and you get misteaks. Er, I mean mistakes.

  • I have fond memories of my mother reading me Dr. Seuss books before bed as a child. I hope today's kids won't have to settle for a machine rather than a parent reading them to sleep.
  • Thanks, Nancy.

    I htink it bothered me more than it should have because I was tired.  Reading the site before 7AM might not be the best idea.  ;)
  • While they found new lives in animated television productions and live-action movies, it cannot be denied that the telling of these tales from one generation to another is a part of their appeal. Where once a parent read one of these stories to a son or daughter, now that same child may share the story with their own child -- all the while still seeing and hearing the magical tales as if it was for the first time again.

  • I have fond memories of my mother reading me Dr. Seuss books before bed as a child. I hope today's kids won't have to settle for a machine rather than a parent reading them to sleep.

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