On Beyond Zebra!

On Beyond Zebra! 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 goalie outfits, instead of the twenty-six letters of the conventional English alphabet, twenty more letters that purportedly follow them.

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) cool soccer goalie jerseys, 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 how to tenderize beef quickly! (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.

Judith and Neil Morgan, Geisel’s biographers, note that most of the letters resemble elaborate monograms, “perhaps in Old Persian”. 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.

Some of the animals from On Beyond Zebra! appear in the 1975 CBS TV Special The Hoober-Bloob Highway, such as a Jogg-oon, a Sneedle, a Zatz-it, and a Wumbus non spill water bottle.