By Dr. Seuss Group Project:

 Laurie Healy- Shayla Borpujari  - Mary Eliahu 7/04

Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches-

Had bellies with stars.

The Plain-Belly Sneetches-Had none upon thars.  

Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.

You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all. 

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches

Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort

“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”

And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,

They’d hike right on past them without even talking.  

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,

Could a Plain- Belly get in the game…? Not at all.

You only could play if your bellies had stars

And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars. 

When the Star-Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts

Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,

They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches.

They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.

They kept them away. Never let them come near.

And that’s how they treated them year after year. 

Then ONE day, seems…while the Plain-Belly Sneetches

Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,

Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars…

A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars! 


My friends,” he announced in a voice clear and keen,

“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.

And I’ve heard of your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.

But I can fix that. I’m the Fix-it-Up Chappie.

I’ve come here to help you. I have what you need.

And my prices are low. And I work at great speed.

And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed! 


Then, quickly Sylvester McMonkey McBean

Put together a very peculiar machine.

And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch…?

My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!” 

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”

So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared

And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked

And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!

When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!

They actually did. They had stars upon thars! 

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,

“We’re exactly like you! You can’t tell us apart.

We’re all just the same, now, you snooty old smarties!

And now we can go to your frankfurter parties.” 

“Good grief!” groaned the ones who had stars at the first.

“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.

But, now, how in the world will we know,” they all frowned,

“If which kind is what, or the other way round?” 

Then came  McBean with a very sly wink.

And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.

So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.

But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?

I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on beaches

And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.” 

“Belly stars are no longer in style,” said McBean.

“What you need is a trip through my Star-off Machine.

This wondrous contraption will take off your stars

So you won’t look like Sneetches who have them on thars.”

And that handy machine Working very precisely

Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely. 

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about

And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout,

“We know who is who! Now there isn’t a doubt.

The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!” 

Then, of course, those with stars all got frightfully mad.

To be wearing a star now was frightfully bad.

Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean

Invited them into his star-off machine. 

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,

Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,

The fix-it-up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.

Off again! On Again!  In again! Out again!

Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two.

They kept paying money. They kept running through

Until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew

Whether this one was that one…or that one was this one

Or which one was what one …or what one was who. 

Then, when every last cent

Of their money was spent,

The Fix-it-Up Chappie packed up

And he went. 

And he laughed as he drove

In his car up the beach,

“They never will learn.

No. You can’t teach a Sneetch!” 

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say

That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day,

The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches

And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches

That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars

And whether they had one, or not, upon thars.

click on above link for a couple of pages of this book



WOOOOoooooo   Dr. Seuss-- by Mary Eliahu 

Dr. Seuss wrote “Sneetches”, in 1961 to teach children about discrimination. He wrote the book to address how different groups of people didn’t like each other during World War II. A number of the Seuss books address the subject of diversity and teach children to be fair and treat people equally. Ted Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) family was German immigrants and was often targets for many slurs to their heritage. Ted and his sister overcame this ridicule during their teenage years when they became active participants in the pro-American campaign of World War I.

Dr. Seuss also wrote several books that teach similar themes that are directed to the adults, who he called “obsolete children.” One book called, “The Butter Battle Book,” written in 1984 appeared for six months on the New York Times bestseller list for adults, and it dealt with the dangers of nuclear weapons. Another book that caught the attention of both children and adults alike was, “The Lorax” published in 1997. “The Lorax,” grew out of Mr. Geisel’s anger at the damage that was being done to the earth, water, and air. “The Lorax” is now considered a classic and deals with caring for the environment, a subject that concerned Mr. Geisel throughout his life.

There are forty-eight Dr. Seuss books in print, and close to ninety million copies have been sold. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages, including Maori, Japanese, and Dutch. The first book he wrote and published was, “And To Think That I saw it On Mulberry Street.” His famous, “The Cat In The Hat” book was written in 1957 after Dr. Seuss read an article in Life magazine that criticized the “Dick and Jane” school readers. Mr. Geisel’s publisher, Random House, challenged him to write a ‘better’ reader using the school boards approved list of 223 easy-to-read words, the result was “The Cat.” Due to the success of “The Cat In The Hat,” Mr. Geisel wrote other beginner reading books that were received very well.

Ted Geisel, or Dr. Seuss, was a very private guy and he had a great sense of humor. He and his wife never had children when asked why he would reply, ‘You have them, and I’ll entertain them.’ He always claimed the reason his animal characters looked the way they did was because he couldn’t draw! He had many answers when asked where he found his ideas; one answer was “in the Arizona desert, where I pick the brain of a retired thunderbird.” He always said that you could fool an adult with purple prose, but a kid could tell if you were faking immediately. As he got older he said that age had no effect on him, “I surf as much as I always have! I climb Mount Everest as much as I always have!” On a more serious note, Mr. Geisel was once asked if he had any words of wisdom to share with the world, he thought for a minute and said, “We (U.S.A.) can do and we’ve got to do better than this.” Dr. Seuss died at the age of 87…one young fan wrote, “we’ll always remember him until the day he comes back alive.”


Reaction: by Shayla Borpujari  

“The grass is always greener on the other side” and “I have a star so I’m better than you” are two thoughts that come to mind after reading the book Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. This book is a simple yet a perfect example of the complicated issue of discrimination that so many people face today. Why can’t everyone be treated equally no matter what their differences are? The Sneetches all looked the same except for the ‘oh so important’ star on their bellies. I can’t believe how such a little difference between them could create such a big issue. It kept on going around in circles. I was happy to see in the end that they all became friends and got along; it is just too bad that humans can’t do the same thing. Dr. Seuss wrote an amazing book that teaches a wonderful lesson every child should read. Out of all of his books, famous and not so famous, I would choose Sneetches to be the award-winning book on top of all the others. If every person in the world would learn from Dr. Seuss’ lesson in his book, then I think we would be able to cure the discrimination problem so many people deal with every day of their lives. Our differences is what makes us unique.  We can all learn from our histories and the cultures of other people and perhaps even benefit.  Everyone should learn to get along and accept each other no matter what they are different for. It is possible to end discrimination, and one day I'm sure it will. But everyone has to be compliant and learn the great lesson of Dr. Seuss’ book Sneetches teaches. 

Short Biography on Dr. Seuss: by Shayla Borpujari- Mary Eliahu- and Laurie Healy 

·        Theodor Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts

·        The family were German immigrants

·        Attends Dartmouth College in 1925 and was the editor of “The Jack-o-Lantern college magazine

·        Started using the name Seuss while in college, his mother’s maiden name

·        Attends Oxford College meets and marries Helen Palmer in 1927

·        Works for “Judge”, a magazine, writing cartoons and humorous articles

·        Goes on to work as an advertiser for an insecticide company called Flit

·        Vacations in Europe in 1936 and writes his first book “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” while listening to the rhythm of the ship’s engines

·        In 1937 a friend publishes the book after 43 prior rejections

·        During WW II Mr. Geisel joined the army and was sent to Hollywood where he made documentaries dealing with the war

·        In 1954 Life Magazine reported the Dick and Jane Readers were boring, Ted’s publisher challenged him to write a new reader and “The Cat In The Hat” was born

·        1960 Ted accepts another challenge to write a book using only 50 words and “Green Eggs and Ham” was born

·        Ted’s wife Helen dies in 1960 and Ted remarries Audrey Stone Diamond in 1968

·        Theodor Seuss Geisel dies on September 1991

·         November 17,1991 at Balboa Park in San Diego a celebration in honor of Theodor Geisel called, “Sunday in the Park with Seuss” -Seventy-five thousand people attended and ate green eggs and ham


Reaction : Laurie Healy

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss is always a favorite because it can be used with any age group from kindergarten through high school. This is a wonderful story and a perfect example that really pin-points how ridiculous discrimination really is. This book is about discrimination based not on religion or race, but on  belly stars. The stars are a perfect way to relate the lesson to a child at an appropriate level while getting the message across loud and clear. This is a touchy subject, but it sends a clear and necessary message for children kindergarten through adulthood.  "Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches Had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches Had none upon thars." The stars are the identifying mark that differentiates one group of Sneetches from another and this obvious difference forces the Sneetches to discriminate against the other group of Sneetches. "When the Star-Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts, they never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches. They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches. They kept them away. Never let them come near. And that's how they treated them year after year."

As many of us prepare to become teachers we must level the playing field in our classrooms as much as possible in order to set up a safe environment where the children can all grow and learn. Studies have shown low achieving children being placed in a “gifted program” actually perform up to expected levels. The reverse is also true. Self fulfilling prophecy is apparent at all levels. Dr. Seuss has focused on a subject that needs to be focused on, and one that we as teachers need to integrate into our libraries for the children and the families we are able to touch.

Interesting Websites to visit Dr. Seuss


Websites related to Discrimination