Written by Joanie Chevalier
“Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” —President Barack Obama
How right you are Mr. President. Even though Dr. Seuss (born Theodor Geisel on March 2, 1904) died in 1991, he lives on, still inspiring us and our children to read, explore, and like who we are. His many children’s books have sold over 600 million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages. I know I am thankful Dr. Seuss decided to write children’s books.
Did you know Dr Seuss revolutionized primary reading? In a The New Yorker article, we find out that Geisel was challenged to write “a story that first graders can’t put down!” to replace the boring Dick and Jane primers, many who dubbed them “the dullest family on earth” (who remembers those sentences?). We are happy that he succeeded with The Cat in the Hat, introducing the successful phonics-based approach in our educational system. The Cat in the Hat went on to sell more than three million copies within three years (great numbers considering Amazon and ebooks weren’t even invented yet :o).
His enlightening messages in his books are profound. Of course, reading these books as kids, most of us didn’t much notice, we just loved the catchy rhyming and colorful artwork. His creative and sunshine-y outlook on life helped us love ourselves, and each other, no matter how different. And it has taught millions to read.
Do you have good memories about Dr Seuss books? Please share!
Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!