Dr. Seuss presents three modern fables in the rhyming favorite Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The collection features tales about greed (“Yertle the Turtle”), vanity (“Gertrude McFuzz”), and pride (“The Big Brag”). In no other book does a small burp have such political importance! Yet again, Dr. Seuss proves that he and classic picture books go hand in hand.
Yertle's story leads off with his attempt to build a bigger kingdom on the backs of his loyal subjects (literally). King of everything he can see, Yertle orders his turtles to stack up under him to build a towering throne. ("He made each turtle stand on another one's back and he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack.") But a plain little turtle named Mack--stuck at the bottom--decides he's had enough. ("I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down on the bottom we, too, should have rights!")
Following Yertle's downfall, a whiny girl-bird named Gertrude McFuzz wishes she had two feathers, just like Miss Lolla-Lee-Lou: "One droopy-droop feather. That's all that she had. And, oh! That one feather made Gertrude so sad." But even when Gertrude gets her wish--and then some--she finds that vanity has its price. Meanwhile, in "The Big Brag," a proud rabbit and an even-prouder bear duke it out in a battle of the senses, arguing over who's the best of the beasts, only to get their clever comeuppance from a wild-eyed little worm. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes