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The Cat in The Hat by Dr. Seuss is a picture storybook about rules and order aimed at 7-10-year-olds that incorporates excitement for children’s imagination. Based on a fictional story where two kids are stuck at home on a rainy day, a stranger (cat) comes into the house. The story allows the opportunity to talk about what is trust and who can you trust as a child.

The Cat reassures the kids that their mother won’t mind him and his entertaining tricks whilst she is out at work and both Sally and Sam trust him. As the story continues, The Cat falls while trying to balance too many things at once on his body and drops everything he is holding, beginning to mess up Sally and Sam’s house. The children watch feeling useless as the cat brings extreme disruption to their house. When Thing One and Thing Two, two of the Cat’s friends arrive out of a big red box, they create a mess throughout the house and the narrator creates a sense of fear for the children about the consequences they will have to face when their mother finally arrives home.

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Although the picture book is called “The Cat in The Hat”, the cat is actually not a cat itself. Geisel (Dr. Seuss) intended that the cat represents himself. This is aimed at the reader to gain a deeper understanding of Geisel without realizing it is actually him. The Cat has round ears, small eyes, a long tail, a small snout, and only a few whiskers. The narrator uses words such as “hat” and “cat” as they are easy words for young children to pronounce. The book uses 223/438 words beginning readers are expected to know.

Reds and blues were chosen for the illustrations in The Cat in The Hat to attract the visual attention of the young audience. The images are appealing to children and give the opportunity for them to explore their own imagination about what is really happening throughout the book. The color red used is associated with the kid’s house, the mother’s coat, Sally’s hair bow, The cat’s hat, and bow, and the Thing One and Thing Twos jumper.

In the process, Sally and Sam learn about who they are able to trust. The book is a well-told story for young children and is a fun and exciting way to teach them to not let strangers into the house and to not trust anyone through the visuals used and children’s wild imaginations. Who knew that a cat and his friends could cause so much chaos in a house, but the real question is, does he really clean up before Sally and Sam’s mum arrives home?

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Symbols in ‘The Cat in The Rain’: Critical Essay.
(2023, August 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 15, 2023, from

“Symbols in ‘The Cat in The Rain’: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 29 Aug. 2023,

Symbols in ‘The Cat in The Rain’: Critical Essay. [online].
Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Oct. 2023].

Symbols in ‘The Cat in The Rain’: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie.
2023 Aug 29 [cited 2023 Oct 15].
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