Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Today is also John Irving's birthday. Um, I love both of these authors so much that I want to do right by them so we will devote Monday's blog to Mr. Irving. Also, it's a strange combo that I just can't get behind. So, today, we'll stick with Dr. Seuss.
Theodore Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, was born on this day in 1904.
"I wish we could do what they do in Katroo They sure know how to say “Happy Birthday to You!” In Katroo, every year, on the day you were born They start the day right in the bright early morn When the Birthday Honk-Honker hikes high up Mr. Zorn And let’s loose a big blast on the big Birthday Horn. And the voice of the horn calls out loud as it plays: “Wake Up! For today is your Day of all Days!”
I LOVE DR. SEUSS! Not only was he a brilliant children's author, but he was also a political cartoonist, animator, illustrator, and publisher. Obviously, he is best known for his children's books, but his cartoons are pretty alright; and still relevant.
As most great children's books do, Dr. Suess tackled difficult topics and presented them in a way that children can understand (and maybe their parents learned a thing or two. He was sneaky like that). The Star Belly Sneetches, for example, takes on racism; The Lorax beautifully illustrates how important it is to take care of the environment; Horton is basically the sweetest character ever written. He cared about people, no matter how small, and really stepped it up when Mayzie neglected her responsibilities; even though it wasn't in his best interest.
Through these characters and his weird little drawings, Dr. Seuss taught me lessons that have stuck with me. As an adult, I reread Seuss a lot and he's still teaching me lessons. The Butter Battle Book, for instance, is less about toast and more about war. And I still read the Sleep Book when I can't fall asleep. Of course, it is impossible to NOT read Dr. Seuss aloud so I read them to my dogs. They seem to really enjoy it. If you have dogs and have never read to them, what are you even doing? Try it. They love it. And it gives you a reason, not that you need one, to reread your old favorites.
Theodore Geisel died in 1991, but he continues to have a huge impact on the reading community. Read Across America, an initiative focused on motivating children to read, began coming together in 1997. In honor of the beloved children's author, the group decided on March 2nd; the inaugural event was March 2, 1998. Since then, it has continued to grow with many schools across the country hosting special reading focused events. So, in honor of Dr. Seuss, READ SOMETHING TODAY. Anything. Because:
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."