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Books

Oh, the places you’ll go!

I’ve written about my love of children’s books before, but I didn’t mention one of my absolute favourites: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

It’s the last of Dr Seuss’s books to be published during his lifetime, and it’s a very warm, witty and wise book that’s as relevant to adults as it is to children: apparently it’s a popular gift for newly graduating students, and I got a new copy as a birthday present from a great friend.

I was reading it to my son last night and I could barely get the words out: while the book is full of joy it’s also touched by sadness, and reading lines such as…

All alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
You’ll be quite a lot

…is devastating when you’re reading it to someone you want to keep in bubble wrap, protected from sadness forever. But of course, we’ll all experience sadness and loneliness in our lives. That’s one of the reasons the book resonates so much.

This video should be everything I hate: it’s a bunch of people at the Burning Man festival reciting the book. But you can’t mess up such beautiful words, and just like the book this video made me cry.

And when you’re alone there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.