Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Today is the day,
Its’ been anticipated
Today is your day,
You’ll be celebrated

Theodor Seuss Geisel, lovingly known to youngsters everywhere as simply Dr. Seuss, was born this day in 1904. He’s published over 60 books, starting with And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street in 1937 to Oh The Places You’ll Go as his last book in 1990. I could talk about how his books have sold over 222 million copies and been translated into more than 15 languages (numbers which I’m sure don’t surprise anyone). I could lecture on his poetic use of language and the rhythm of his anapestic tetrameter verses.

But I’d rather bask in the child-like joy that I experience reading his stories. There are so many that are favorites: Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, I Can Lick Thirty Tigers Today, Star-bellied Sneetches, Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now, Cat in the Hat, and Hop on Pop.

I was delighted with Green Eggs and Ham, reading and rereading it until I could quote it cover to cover. I fell in love with the vain and confused Sneetches, laughed as Yertle the Turtle was covered in mud, delighted in all the children named Dave who sent Marvin K Mooney on his way, and feared for the small one talking himself out of beating up tigers.

In my first grade class we had a green food-colored feast to celebrate our book, as I’m sure other kids did all over the country. Every kid in my class loved his books; the color, the rhymes, the characters, the unorthodox stories and the made-up words. Under his pen reading was play, and kids who never cared to read before would devour the pages. The National Education Association’s Read Across America Program happens every year on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, encouraging kids and teens across the country to pick up a book, and they couldn’t have picked a better author.

We Miss You – March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991

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