There’s a Wocket in my Pocket – fantastic creatures + common household vocabulary

thAn upbeat little boy proudly shows readers the fantastic creatures that dwell in his house in this beginning reader that teaches common household vocabulary words.

Bibliographic Info:  Dr. Seuss There’s a Wocket in My Pocket Random House (1974) 24pp Formats: Hardcover ISBN 13: 9780007169955  $3.99, Paperback, Audible Cassette, Board Book, Kindle, iBook, App (1974)  Interest Level:  K-2  Reading Level Equivalent: 2.1  Genre: Comedy and Humor, Rhyming Story  Themes:  Vocabulary9780394829203_xlg

Summary:  The storyteller in There’s a Wocket in My Pocket is a curious little boy who lives in an extraordinary house full of bizarre creatures.  In room after room, the proud boy shows readers all the zany creatures while Dr. Seuss cleverly sneaks in a common household vocabulary lesson in the process.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1There’s a Wocket in My Pocket was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on April 9th, 2015.  This material meets the StorytimeWOW Standards and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW, Picture eBookWOW and AppWOW collections.

Review:  This joyful Seuss beginning reader is both a rhyme-fest and a crowd-pleaser.  The story’s magical wordplay builds anticipation as page turns reveal Seuss’s iconic critters.  The central character is an upbeat little boy whose winning enthusiasm is catching.  All the colorful creatures are illustrated with personality and energy.  The app format lets listeners hear some of the funny sounds that the crazy creatures make.  There’s a Wocket in My Pocket is an imaginative and comical classic that makes a surefire hit for storytime.

Storytime Tip:  There’s a Wocket in My Pocket works well as a read aloud during storytime, especially in its app format.  In group storytime, create a rhyming call and response with this story by showing children the pictures, reading the text that begins with each creature’s name.  Allow your listeners to fill in the blanks:  “there’s a Ghair under the ?” and “but that Bofa on the ?”

Early Childhood Education and Development:  

1.  There’s a Wocket in My Pocket provides young children with the opportunity to use the following Pre-Reading Skills:

  • Knowing how to handle a book/eBook/app (print awareness)
  • Being interested in and enjoying books (print motivation)
  • Knowing the names of things (vocabulary)
  • Being able to hear and play with smaller sounds in words (phonological awareness)
  • Being able to describe things and events, being able to tell stories (narrative skills)

2. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket provides parents with opportunities to utilize the following Early Literacy-Building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Talking with kids and telling them stories helps them learn to express themselves and conversations.
  • Reading together is “the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers” (Every Child Ready to Read).
  • Playing is a primary way in which children learn language (and this book can be a playful game).

3. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket cultivates the following Kindergarten Readiness skills (see full checklist here).  Children well-prepared for kindergarten are able to:

  • Recognize rhyming sounds
  • Speak understandably
  • Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
  • Look at pictures and then tell stories
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Identify the beginning sound in some words
  • Identify alphabet letters
  • Recognize some common sight words

4. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket supports the following Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Integrate new media materials and technology in classroom settings. Cultivate media literacy behaviors through modeling.
  • Increase focus on children’s comprehension through dialogic reading. Ask questions before, during and after telling stories.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings.  Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

5. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket supports young children’s “emerging mental abilities” by providing opportunities for “key experiences” that strengthen and broaden these abilities (see full list here):

  • Using Language (describing events, objects and relations verbally)
  • Representing (relating pictures to real places and things)
  • Classification (labeling attributes, noticing and describing how things are the same and how they are different, holding more than one attribute in mind at a time)
  • Seriation (comparing which one is bigger-smaller, taller-shorter, etc…, arranging several things in order along same dimension and describing the longest one, the shortest one, etc…)
  • Temporal Relations (describing the order of events in words like earlier, later, a while ago, just, again, when, until, at the same time, first, next, last, first, second, third, before, during, after, since, while, describing different rates of movement such as fast and slow, using conventional time units like morning, afternoon, evening, day, night).
  • Spatial Relations (describing the positions of things in relation to each other, like in the middle, on the side of, on, off, on top of, over, above, under, below, beneath, underneath, bottom, top, in front of, in back of, behind, beside, next to, between, describing the direction of movement of things and people like to, from, into, out of, toward, away from, describing relative distances among things and locations like close, near, far, next to, apart, together).

Significance:  Seuss’s nonsensical rhymes in There’s a Wocket in My Pocket are both highly entertaining and educational.

Read-alikes:  Dr. Seuss’s ABC, Fox in Socks

Links:  Dr. Seuss website, Scholastic, Amazon  

Awards:  Dr. Seuss’s long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates.

Other Reviews:  Common Sense Media, Goodreads, Kirkus

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Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!