“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss
Happy Birthday to You!, fittingly the title of a book authored by the beloved Dr. Seuss. This week’s blog is a tribute to a man I consider a genius.
Dr. Seuss created worlds and characters that enchanted readers. Of all ages. I am just as tickled by The Cat in the Hat as a mother reading it to her son as I was as a child reading it in the public library. Dr. Seuss took all the “rules” of writing and broke them. Splendidly. He created whole books revolving around nonsense words - words that don’t exist in the English language that nonetheless rhyme with more familiar words and are incredibly fun to read out loud (There’s a Wocket in My Pocket).
As a mother and a teacher, I look to Dr. Seuss books to inspire. Children want to read these books, and they soon find they can. I remember my sister’s pride at reading Green Eggs and Ham; her first book read without any help. Those memories are eternal.
As a writer, I am in awe of all that Dr. Seuss was able to accomplish. His books have helped children learn to read, and love to read. His repetitive language, whimsical worlds, and zany characters make for a fun time. And learning to read is difficult work. It requires patience and persistence. Dr. Seuss’s books honor those qualities.
Beyond these fanciful tales, Dr. Seuss managed to integrate life lessons, words of wisdom that resonate for all, regardless of age or reading ability. Here are a few stand-out Seussisms:
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”