Well, using only words from the Dolch List, Geisel tapped into his fertile imagination.
And the result was an incredibly funny and engaging storyline about a talking cat that convinces a brother and sister
to let him make a huge mess in their house while their mother was away.
Another character, a talking fish, tries to warn the children that they’ll be blamed for the cat’s crazy antics.
You can really feel the tension building up in those kids as the cat makes the house messier and messier.
Ultimately the house gets straightened up in the nick of time.
And the kids are left speechless when their mom shows up and casually asks if anything interesting happened in her absence.
The kids, and presumably, Geisel’s readers are left thinking: should they tell the truth?
And that’s where the book ends. Brilliant!
There aren’t too many authors who can set up a moral dilemma like this and then get children to think about it for themselves.