From its cover, The Butter Battle Book appears to be another Dr. Seuss picture book with rhymed text for children.
However, inside is an anti-war message for adults by the man behind the pseudonym, Theodor Seuss Geisel.
The Yooks and the Zooks live on opposite sides of The Wall. Zooks eat their bread butter side down while the Yooks eat theirs butter side up.
A young Yook, encouraged by his grandfather, begins throwing increasingly dangerous missiles across the wall at the Zooks, who retaliate with increasingly more lethal weapons of their own.
The Big War is inevitable.
The Yooks hide in a hole in the ground as the grandfather, leaps up on the wall to drop a bomb on the Zooks and finds himself eye-to-eye with a Zook with a bomb to drop.
Who will drop it first?
The book ends with the words, “We will see” opposite a blank page.
The Library of Congress classified the book as (1) War-Fiction and (2) Stories in rhyme, both more fitting than the children’s collections where it tends to end up.
Today, 30 years after the Berlin Wall came down, The Butter Battle Book is a Cold War Era relic out of place among Dr. Seuss’s children’s books.
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
Random House. 1984. Unpaginated
1984 bestseller # 5: My grade: C-
©2019 Linda G. Aragoni