Left - OP's image; Right - Actual covers
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Butter Battle Book
The Butter Battle Book is a rhyming story written by Dr. Seuss. It was published by Random House Books for Young Readers on January 12, 1984. It is an anti-war story; specifically, a parable about arms races in general, mutually assured destruction and nuclear weapons in particular. The Butter Battle Book was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
The Sneetches and Other Stories
"The Sneetches" was intended by Seuss as a satire of discrimination between races and cultures, and was specifically inspired by his opposition to antisemitism.
The Cat in the Hat
Geisel once called the fish "my version of Cotton Mather", the Puritan moralist who advised the prosecutors during the Salem witch trials. Betty Mensch and Alan Freeman support this view, writing, "Drawing on old Christian symbolism (the fish was an ancient sign of Christianity) Dr. Seuss portrays the fish as a kind of ever-nagging superego, the embodiment of utterly conventionalized morality." Philip Nel notes that other critics have also compared the fish to the superego. Anna Quindlen called the Cat "pure id" and marked the children, as mediators between the Cat and the fish, as the ego. Mensch and Freeman, however, argue that the Cat shows elements of both id and ego.
In her analysis of the fish, MacDonald asserts that it represents the voice of the children's absent mother. Its conflict with the Cat, not only over the Cat's uninvited presence but also their inherent predator-prey relationship, provides the tension of the story. She points out that on the last page, while the children are hesitant to tell their mother about what happened in her absence, the fish gives a knowing look to the readers to assure them "that something did go on but that silence is the better part of valor in this case". Alison Lurie agrees, writing, "there is a strong suggestion that they might not tell her." She argues that, in the Cat's destruction of the house, "the kids—and not only those in the story, but those who read it—have vicariously given full rein to their destructive impulses without guilt or consequences." For a 1983 article, Geisel told Jonathan Cott, "The Cat in the Hat is a revolt against authority, but it's ameliorated by the fact that the Cat cleans up everything at the end. It's revolutionary in that it goes as far as Kerensky and then stops. It doesn't go quite as far as Lenin."
The book is commonly recognized as a fable concerning the danger corporate greed poses to nature, using the literary element of personification to give life to industry as the Once-ler and the environment as The Lorax.
The Lorax was Dr. Seuss' personal favorite of his books. He was able to create a story addressing economic and environmental issues without it being dull. "The Lorax," he once explained, "came out of me being angry. In The Lorax I was out to attack what I think are evil things and let the chips fall where they might."
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Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
Seuss has stated that the titular character Yertle represented Adolf Hitler, with Yertle's despotic rule of the pond and takeover of the surrounding area parallel to Hitler's regime in Germany and invasion of various parts of Europe. Though Seuss made a point of not beginning the writing of his stories with a moral in mind, stating that "kids can see a moral coming a mile off", he was not against writing about issues; he said "there's an inherent moral in any story" and remarked that he was "subversive as hell".
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The story was published as a book by Random House in 1957, and at approximately the same time in an issue of Redbook. The book criticizes the commercialization of Christmas.
Some writers, including Dr. Seuss himself, have made a connection between the Grinch and Dr. Seuss. In the story, the Grinch laments that he has had to put up with the Whos' celebration of Christmas for 53 years. As both Thomas Fensch and Charles Cohen note, Dr. Seuss was 53 when he wrote and published the book. Dr. Seuss himself asserted the connection in an article in the December 1957 edition of Redbook: "I was brushing my teeth on the morning of the 26th of last December when I noticed a very Grinch-ish countenance in the mirror. It was Seuss! So I wrote about my sour friend, the Grinch, to see if I could rediscover something about Christmas that obviously I'd lost." Seuss's step-daughter, Lark Dimond-Cates, stated in a speech in 2003, "I always thought the Cat... was Ted on his good days, and the Grinch was Ted on his bad days." Cohen notes that Seuss drove a car with a license plate that read "GRINCH".
Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham is all about trying new things, when those new things seem strange or unappealing. Sam-I-Am takes an unnamed character in a hat on a wild adventure, asking him at each stop whether he would prefer green eggs and ham in another setting–on a boat, with a goat, in the rain, on a train, in a box with a fox, in a house with a mouse, etc. Exhausted from their travels and Sam-I-Am’s constant pestering, the hero succumbs and tries the green eggs and ham, only to find that he actually likes the dish.
Dr. Seuss argues his point by reducing the fear of trying new things to absurdity, showing what zany trials the creature in the hat will go through to avoid tasting the green eggs and ham. Ultimately, Seuss shows, in colorful terms, that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Once we overcome our fears–of foods, people, activities–we open ourselves to new and enjoyable experiences which can bring a splash of zest to the monotony of daily life.
Horton Hears a Who
Geisel began work on Horton Hears a Who! in the fall of 1953. The book's main theme, "a person's a person no matter how small", was Geisel's reaction to his visit to Japan, where the importance of the individual was an exciting new concept. Geisel, who had harbored strong anti-Japan sentiments before and during World War II, changed his views dramatically after the war and used this book as an allegory for the American post-war occupation of the country. He dedicated the book to a Japanese friend.
Horton contains a strong moral message, which Thomas Fensch identifies as "universal, multinational, multi-ethnic. In a word: Equality."