You’re Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children

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With his unmistakable rhymes and signature illustration style, Dr. Seuss creates a classic picture-book ode to aging in You’re Only Old Once! On a visit to “the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair,” readers will laugh with familiar horror at the poking and prodding and testing and ogling that go hand in hand with the dreaded appellation of “senior citizen.” Though Dr. Seuss is known for his peerless work in books for children, this comical look at what it’s like to get older is ideal for Seuss fans of advanced years. In his own words, this is “a book for obsolete children.” A perfect gift for retirement, birthdays, and holidays!
Subtitled A Book for Obsolete Children, this abnormal item in the Seuss canon doesn’t in reality belong a few of the children’s books. Written to celebrate the nonsense master’s 82nd birthday, it follows “you” (an elderly gent in a suit and white moustache) through a physical check-up in some fiendish geriatric clinic. You are measured, prodded, and subjected to all of the medical indignities familiar and unfamiliar to the elderly. “You will have to see Dr. Pollen, our Allergy Whiz, who knows each and every sniffle and itch that there’s… He’ll check your reactions to thumbtacks and glue, catcher’s mitts, leaf mould, and cardigans too. Nasturtiums and marble cake, white and blue chalks, anthracite coal and the feathers of hawks.” It’s clear that the process is going to be long, but much shorter than the bill. The blurb on the back says it all: “Is this a children’s book? Well… not immediately. You buy a copy for your child now and you give it to him on his 70th birthday.” If truth be told, it would make an amusing gift for any individual over 40. –Richard Farr

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