“Dr. Seuss was a storyteller in the grandest sense of the word. Not only did he tell fantastical tales of far-away places but he also gave us a unique visual language that carried his stories to new heights of artistic expression.” -The Art of Dr. Seuss
Today we celebrate the birthday of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, one of the most well-known and beloved children’s authors of all time. Geisel, who was born in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts, wrote more than 40 children’s books.
With readings and various events scheduled in schools across the state, I thought I would take the time to share just a few tidbits about Dr. Seuss and offer a very short list of a couple of my Seuss favorites, plus a few favorite craft and cooking activities.
Fun Facts About Seuss
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was the the first Dr. Seuss book, published in 1937. What makes this book unique is that it was rejected 27 times by a publisher before finally being accepted by Vanguard Publishing.
In 1955, Geisel received a challenge from publisher Random House: write a book for children using just 200 different words. Geisel accepted, and two years later he cemented his place in children’s literature with The Cat in the Hat.
In 1984, Geisel won a Pulitzer Prize for his collected works; he said in response that he was not a writer just for children, but for the people.
Geisel also used the moniker Theo LeSieg (Geisel backwards) for books that were written by him but illustrated by others.
My Favorite Seuss
I love a good book, and in celebration of Read Across America — a celebration on Dr. Seuss’ birthday that celebratest the enjoyment of reading — I want to share just a few of my Dr. Seuss favorites. It’s not easy narrowing this list down to just three, but I decided to pick those that have left a lasting impression on me.
Released after Dr. Seuss’ death in 1991, this book beautifully details emotions based on colors. This still happens to be a book that very few know about, but for those who do it is a favorite.
While the title may seem silly, this anti-war book is a cautionary tale about intolerance, and how things can quickly escalate. Written during the Cold War to address fears of a possible nuclear war, this book was pulled out of many public libraries due to “obvious” statements about the U.S.-Soviet Union arms race. Although this story deals with the nuclear war and the possibility of mutually assured destruction, it was not uncommon for Geisel to write stories in reference to his own political beliefs.
I don’t think any list would be complete with out this Christmas classic. I love the book, but I also love the 1966 cartoon. I am a big Boris Karloff fan and the song (yes the song), is something that I look forward to every holiday season. (Along with Heat Miser and Snow Miser, but that’s another post for another time.)
If you want to do a few Seuss-inspired crafts with your little ones this week, here are a few links below with some exciting activities.
- Cat-in-the-Hat Play Dough: Make your own Cat in the Hat with a variety of red and white materials.
- One Fish, Two Fish: Very young kiddos will have fun gluing tissue paper to fish shapes.
- Speak for the Trees: If The Lorax is your favorite Seuss book, you’ll love making your own Truffula trees.
“I do so like green eggs and ham” Treats
Want a few Seuss sweet treats to round out Read Across America Week? Here are a few snacks you and your little ones can make to go along with your crafts.
- Cat-in-the-Hats Treats: Celebrate the ultimate Seuss book with this edible, adorable hat.
- A Twist on Green Eggs and Ham: This is one of my favorites that I used while teaching. A cute twist to the traditional Green Eggs and Ham.