This post is part of an occasional series called Finding God in Children's Literature, in which I look at children's books in light of the Bible and Sacred Tradition. All correlations between these books and the Christian faith are my own insights, unless otherwise noted. You may quote me or link to these posts, but please do not re-blog them or use these ideas as though they were your own. Thank you.
Yertle the Turtle
by Dr. Seuss is the story of a proud and power-hungry reptile. He
starts out as king of a pond of turtles. Unsatisfied with that, he
commands his subjects to stand on one another's' shells in a stack,
while he climbs to the top. The stack of turtles keeps growing, despite
the protests of the turtle on the bottom, named Mack. Yertle believes he
is king of all he can see, so the higher his throne of turtles goes,
the more powerful he becomes. Eventually, he over steps and the stack of
turtles collapses. At last, Yertle is only King of the Mud.
Geisel, who is better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, was a political
cartoonist before he began writing children's books. He later said he
meant Yertle the Turtle as a condemnation of Hitler. But there
is a much more ancient culture than Nazi Germany that had striking
similarities to Yertle's kingdom--Babylon.