A Dr. Seuss I hadn’t read, I couldn’t believe it. And it turns out, I was missing quite a lot. This little book, The Butter Battle Book, was classic Dr. Seuss material, with Yooks and Zooks, Triple-Sling Jiggers, and Eight-Nozzled Elephant-Toted Boom Bliztes.
It is the story of the Yooks, who eat their bread butter side up, and their enemies across the way, the Zooks, who (gasp) eat their bread butter side down. The nerve of them. Because of their wayward buttering, the Zooks are not to be trusted. Grandpa Yook, the narrator, tells his grandson of his days as a Zook-Watching border patrolman. What follows is an arms race between the Zooks and Yooks, each building bigger and more elaborate weapons. However, they don’t attack the other side. Instead, they just keep building. For every technological advance the Yooks make, the butter down Zooks have matched them. At the end the two sides are left holding Big-Boy Boomeroo’s over the opposing sides land, at a stalemate.
The rhyming is great. The contraptions are smart and funny. The illustrations are colorful and inventive. And it’s a Cold War allegory. How about that for old Dr. Suess, huh.