On Beyond Zebra!

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On Beyond Zebra!
On Beyond Zebra.jpg
AuthorDr. Seuss
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren's literature
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
1955 (renewed 1983)
Media typePrint (Hardcover and paperback)
OCLC7715159
Preceded byHorton Hears a Who! 
Followed byIf I Ran the Circus 

On Beyond Zebra![1] is an illustrated children's book by Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. In this boundary-pushing take on the genre of alphabet book, Seuss presents, instead of the twenty-six letters of the conventional English alphabet, twenty more letters that purportedly follow them.

Plot[edit]

The young narrator, not content with the confines of the ordinary alphabet, reports on additional letters beyond Z, with a fantastic creature corresponding to each new letter. For example, the letter "FLOOB" corresponds to the Floob-Boober-Bab-Boober-Bubs, which have large buoyant heads and float serenely in the water. In order, the letters, followed by the creatures that correspond to them, are YUZZ (Yuzz-a-ma-Tuzz), WUM (Wumbus), UM (Umbus), HUMPF (Humpf-Humpf-a-Dumpfer), FUDDLE (Miss Fuddle-dee-Duddle), GLIKK (Glikker), NUH (Nutches), SNEE (Sneedle), QUAN (Quandary), THNAD (Thnadners), SPAZZ (Spazzim), FLOOB (Floob-Boober-Bab-Boober-Bubs), ZATZ (Zatz-it), JOGG (Jogg-oons), FLUNN (Flunnel), ITCH (Itch-a-pods), YEKK (Yekko), VROO (Vrooms), and HI! (High Gargel-orum). The book ends with an unnamed letter which is substantially more complicated than those with names. A list of all the additional letters is shown at the end.

Analysis[edit]

Image of the imaginary letters in On Beyond Zebra!, as rendered in Constructium font

Judith and Neil Morgan, Geisel's biographers, note that most of the letters resemble elaborate monograms, "perhaps in Old Persian".[2] These letters are not officially encoded in Unicode, but the independent ConScript Unicode Registry provides an unofficial assignment of code points in the Unicode Private Use Area for them.[3]

Legacy[edit]

Some of the animals from On Beyond Zebra! appear in the 1975 CBS TV Special The Hoober-Bloob Highway. In this segment, Hoober-Bloob babies don't have to be humans if they don't choose to be, so Mr. Hoober-Bloob shows them a variety of different animals; including ones from On Beyond Zebra! (and If I Ran the Zoo). Such animals include: a Jogg-oon, a Sneedle, a Zatz-it, a Wumbus, and a Yekko.

References[edit]

  1. ^ On Beyond Zebra!. New York: Random House. 1990. ISBN 0-394-80084-2.
  2. ^ Morgan & Morgan, p. 152
  3. ^ "Unofficial Unicode encoding for the Seussian Latin Extensions".

Sources[edit]