If laughter is the best medicine, then You’re Only Old Once! is a delightful new defense against aging. Anyone who has ever submitted to a battery of medical tests will empathize with Dr. Seuss’s Everyman as we follow him through his checkup with the experts at the Golden Years Clinic. From the initial Eyesight and Solvency Test through all the stops along Stethoscope Row to finally being “properly pilled” and “properly billed,” Dr. Seuss lightens the aches and pains of growing old with his inimitable wit and wisdom. A perfect gift for anyone over 50!
Subtitled A Book for Obsolete Children, this unusual item in the Seuss canon doesn't really belong among the children's books. Written to celebrate the nonsense master's 82nd birthday, it follows "you" (an elderly gent in a suit and white moustache) through a physical check-up in some fiendish geriatric clinic. You are measured, prodded, and subjected to all the medical indignities familiar and unfamiliar to the elderly. "You must see Dr. Pollen, our Allergy Whiz, who knows every sniffle and itch that there is... He will check your reactions to thumbtacks and glue, catcher's mitts, leaf mould, and cardigans too. Nasturtiums and marble cake, white and blue chalks, anthracite coal and the feathers of hawks." It's clear that the process is going to be long, but much shorter than the bill. The blurb on the back says it all: "Is this a children's book? Well... not immediately. You buy a copy for your child now and you give it to him on his 70th birthday." Actually, it would make an amusing gift for anyone over 40. --Richard Farr