Welcome to the blog tour for Dr. Seuss's newest novel, What Pet Should I Get? :) I am beyond excited to be sharing one of Dr. Seuss's oldest novels - and his first adult one, at that! Enjoy!
The Seven Lady Godivas by Dr. Seuss
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1939 (Re-Issued in 1987)
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Copy sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
The book recounts in prose the tale of not one, but seven Godiva sisters, none of whom ever wear clothing. The explanation for their nakedness, even when walking in snow, is that "they were simply themselves and chose not to disguise it." The story opens with the sisters' father, Lord Godiva, deciding to leave for the Battle of Hastings on horseback. This upsets the sisters, as horses are wild and untamed animals. Sure enough, before Lord Godiva even manages to leave the castle walls, he is flung from his horse and killed. As a tribute to their father's fate, the Godiva sisters agree to never marry—despite the fact that each is courting one of seven brothers named Peeping—until they can warn their countrymen of the dangers of horses. The book then follows the sisters as they set out on individual quests for "horse truths", which turn out to be well-known sayings involving horses.
What I Liked:
This book was hilarious. And adorable. It is Dr. Seuss's first adult novel, which is why I chose it for the blog tour for review. It's unique to all of his other books, which are generally for children. This book could definitely be read by a younger audience, but I see why it's an adult novel. Check out the cover, for starters!
The story follows the seven naked Godiva sisters, daughters of Lord Godiva, Earl of Coventry. The seven Peeping Brothers and the seven Godiva sisters are in love (each a pair), but when a horse throws the Earl and the Earl dies, the sisters make an oath: each of them must find a "Horse Truth" or they can never act on their love and get married. The Horse Truth must be something that warns others about the mysterious nature of horses - because in 1066, not much was known about horses specifically! Will the ladies find these "horse truths", and true love?
Like I said, this book was hilarious. In classic Dr. Seuss style, the story is both simple and complex, with a deeper meaning than what is on the page. The sisters are naked (think about why - this is open to interpretation, and it's also a legend!), and they swear off marrying until they can do some good for the world. The seven sisters stick to their oath - either they find a Horse Truth, or they don't get married.
I love how Dr. Seuss took an old legend, with Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out the Wikipedia page on Lady Godiva. Legend has it that she rode around on a horse naked, taking a stand against the high taxes that her husband imposed on the people. She sided with the people, and rode on the horse naked to oppose her husband's policies. A man named Tom was punished for watching her ride naked (either blind or dead). Interesting, no?
Dr. Seuss takes this legend and spins it differently - Peeping is the family name for seven brothers - Tom is one of them. Instead of one Lady Godiva, there are seven, who are always naked. When a horse kills their father, they swear to learn more about horses before they can ever get married. It is quite an intriguing story! And historical fiction, at that! I love medieval historical fiction.
And it's a funny one, despite the grim nature. Trust me, Dr. Seuss gets dark. Horses are dangerous... someone should have told the Godiva sisters and their father that. Thus, it is very adult. But it is funny, heartwarming, and ends well!
What I Did Not Like:
Nothing for here! I enjoyed the book, and would love to give it to my baby cousins when they get older. It is a classic!
Would I Recommend It:
I would recommend this one to any Dr. Seuss fan! It's one of his oldest novels, and his first adult novel (not many adult ones), and it's probably among my favorites of Dr. Seuss!
4 stars. I'm sad to see that this one is pretty much out of print! It is such a great novel. Check out the prices for copies of this book - it's practically rare! I urge anyone who likes Dr. Seuss's books to read it though - his adult books are just as fun as his children books!
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!
About the Author:
Theodor “Seuss” Geisel is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. His long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys and a Peabody. Geisel wrote and illustrated 45 books during his lifetime, and his books have sold more than 650 million copies worldwide. Though Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading. For more information about Dr. Seuss and his works, visit Seussville.com.
About What Pet Should I Get?:
In the Fall of 2013, an original manuscript with accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, was discovered in the La Jolla, California home of the late beloved children’s author. That complete manuscript was for the picture book, WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?, and will be published by Random House Children’s Books on July 28, 2015. It is the first original new Dr. Seuss book since the publication of the last book of Dr. Seuss’s career, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! in 1990. WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? captures the excitement of a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and features the brother and sister characters that Dr. Seuss drew in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.