Fox in Socks

One evening found me in the kitchen with two 20-something friends, passing a book from hand to hand, one we each read aloud with gusto. Three people meant three complete read-throughs, but not a single complaint. What was the book? Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss.

Who could resist a tongue-twister that has its own warning label?

Take it slowly: this book is dangerous.

From Luke Luck and his lake-licking duck to the fleas in the cheese trees, shivering in a freezy breeze, to the bottle-battling tweedle beetles on the noodle-eating poodles, Dr. Seuss does his utmost to trip you up. Meanwhile, your small (or large) audience will enjoy the ongoing tongue-twisting feud between the anxious Mr. Knox and the sardonic, sarcastic Mr. Fox. (Don’t worry: his come-uppance is coming.)

Dr. Seuss is good for stalled-out writers too: a stellar example of that gleeful, childlike play with words that can knock out writer’s block.

I can’t blab such blibber-blubber. My tongue isn’t made of rubber.

For a language student, Fox in Socks is entertaining and confusing and time-consuming and happy. Yes, I found it translated! In Hebrew, it’s Comes with Socks [Ba eem Garbaeem]. The story’s a little different, but the rhymes and the wordplay and the sarcasm are there just the same.

Mr. Knox: “Oy lo! Zeh mees-hok nora. Halashone sheli shevura.”

[Oh no! This is a terrible game. My tongue is broken.]

Mr. Fox: “Zeh lo kahl? Nora havahl.”

[It’s not easy? What a terrible shame.]

At the end of the book, Dr. Seuss (so gleefully) signs off like Mr. Fox:

“And now, is your tongue numb?”


  1. Elisabeth A. says:

    You do?! I’m speechless. Happily so.

  2. My family has a copy of “Fox in Sox” in Hebrew too! 🙂 My sisters and I used to read “Green Eggs and Ham” together, getting faster and faster and racing each other through the words. Hmm. That makes me think that I should go and dig the book out again. No one is ever too old for Dr. Seuss!

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