Speaking Seuss

We’ve had my son (age 6) reading to us every night to develop his reading skills, and he often picks Dr. Seuss books. These are good enough for his reading level, but what strikes me in particular is that Dr. Seuss’ books are especially good training for public speaking, because their natural rythms and obvious stresses give the reader clear cues to modulate his or her voice. I’ve been wondering if Dr. Seuss’ books might be good training, even for teaching older kids to speak in public, kids as old as 11-15 or so. I’ve dealt a bit with kids that age in mock trial programs, as well as remembering what they can be like from my own high school days, and you can see that, when called on to speal in public, most of them — even the smart ones — give off a dull, mumbling monotone. I would think that a good way to break that habit would be to give them something simple to read that forces them to be more expressive, and perhaps the more advanced Dr. Seuss books – the Horton books, Thidwick, Solla Sollew, etc. — are just the trick.