The Butter Battle Book

By: Dr. Seuss

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The Yooks and the Zooks have disagreed for years over whether to eat their bread butter side up or down. Eventually, they decide that the conflict is worth starting a war over. Each side builds increasingly ridiculous weapons until both possess the power to destroy the other which would essentially obliterate the world.


The Butter Battle Book is another of Dr. Seuss's titles which reflect his activist side. Through satirical humor, he explores the ridiculousness and futility of war. The Yooks and the Zooks have an age-old disagreement over which way to eat their bread, butter side up or down, and as a result, they eventually start a war over it. They begin with sentries guarding the wall separating their borders which of course, could be taken as a metaphor for anything that separates us from our fellow man. One side fires upon the other with a slingshot and from there, the conflict continues to escalate with each side coming up with increasingly preposterous weapons until both possess a small bomb which could blow the other side to smithereens and in essence wipe out the world.

It's doubtful that younger children will understand the deeper meaning behind the story, but they're sure to be delighted with the classic Seuss rhyming text and whimsical illustrations of Seuss-ified characters and their silly machines. With parental or educator guidance older children can glean an important message about getting along with others who have different views in order to prevent conflict from happening and not feeling like you have to one up each other until you either reach an impossible situation or the worst occurs. I think this simple lesson could be applied to our daily lives, as well as the world at large for preventing warfare. Overall, The Butter Battle Book was another fabulous Dr. Seuss story that has earned a spot on my keeper shelf.


Dr. Seuss