An Ode To ‘McElligot’s Pool’

One of my favorite books as a kid was McElligot’s Pool, by Dr. Seuss. He published it in 1947, and my mom read it to me in the sixties. It gave me a sense of possibility… who knows what might be out there?

This month Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to cease publication of McElligot’s Pool and five other Dr. Seuss books it said portrayed people in ways that are hurtful and wrong. I was surprised… I didn’t realize Dr. Seuss had a history of doing racist drawings. But I knew he’d done a lot of positive, progressive, inspirational drawings.

I don’t know how the world should handle Dr. Seuss’ complex, problematic legacy. But I do know I loved this inspirational book – and the artwork in it – which now seems to be selling for big bucks on Amazon:

Dr. Seuss' McElligot's pool is still selling used on Amazon, and costs hundreds of dollars.

For those who want to read it – and now can’t – here goes. You can judge for yourself. Note also the environmental angle (pun intended!): in 1947, it was apparently normal for people to throw their junk in local ponds, and people knew the junk would scare fish away. But they also had a sense of the amazing biodiversity in the wider world.


You'll never catch a fish in McElligot's Pool.
When people have junk here's the place that they throw it.
But again, well there might.
Connected to one of those underground brooks...