One of the things that you have to love about Dr. Seuss books is how they prove, time and time again, that children think differently than adults. There are many childrens books that show how the imagination of children can change almost anything, but very few of these books actually show the difference between how adults think and how children think. McElligot’s Pool, however, not only shows how differently children think, but it also shows how much better things may be if children were the ones who were doing all the thinking!
It starts with a boy who is trying to fish in a small piece of water on a farmer’s land. The farmer, however, says that “you’ll never catch a fish in McEligot’s Pool”, and, of course, the young boy decides to think about why that may be. He imagines that maybe the pool is deeper than anyone has ever thought, and how it may be filled with all sorts of different type of fish, from dog fish to cat fish and maybe “even a fish made of strawberry jelly”. And, he believes, that all he has to do in order to see if this is true is to keep sitting there, fishing.
McElligot’s Pool is a great tale of optimism that any child can learn from. It shows children that optimists are those who often have the most fun, and who get things done, and that thanks to their imagination, they too can discover vastly strange things like the creatures the boy dreams up in the pool.