Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Theodore Geisel!

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

all By~
Theodor Seuss Geisel

Dr. Seuss!

Today would have been the 105th birthday of one of the most well-known names in children's literature. In honor of his Birthday I will share with you a few facts about the famous Dr.

His name was Theodore Seuss Geisel - Seuss was his mother's maiden name. He started using it as a pseudonym, or alias, while still in college. He added the Dr later, as a joke, because his father, who was a brew master by trade, had always wanted him to get a doctorate and become a professor.

Between 1937 and 1991, when he died aged 87, he published more than 40 books, which have sold half a billion copies between them - that's more than even J K Rowling's Harry Potter books. He nearly burned his first book, "And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street", after it was turned down by 27 publishers. Never give up !
I personally would love to get into his files of stuff he didn't ever publish!

3:) In 1960 Bennett Cerf bet Dr. Seuss $50 that he couldn't write an entire book using only fifty words. The result was Green Eggs and Ham.Oddly Cerf never paid him the $50. I guess with the millions of books sold by the good Doctor, Bennett figured he didn't need the extra fifty bucks.

4:) Having read that educators believed children couldn't learn to read because their books were boring, Seuss's publisher made up a list of 400 words he felt were important.He then asked Dr. Seuss to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using those words. Nine months later, Seuss, using 220 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. This book retained the style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Seuss's earlier works, but because of its simple vocabulary could be read by beginning readers. I myself remember the boring tales of Dick and Jane and how we were lucky enough to Have Mrs.Dumbar in first grade. She had a full shelf of fun books in the back of her room. Even though it wasn't my first choice to take home and read, I did eventually choose "Hop On Pop" to take home for the week-end. I loved it and was after that a fan of the wonderful crazy zany lines of Dr Suess.

5:) Dr Suess did not have children of his own. He liked them well enough it seems since he devoted many years to entertaining them.
He wasn't really fond of spending time with them though. His widow, Audrey, said in an interview that she believed him to be slightly afraid of them. She said he was always thinking: "What will they do next? What will they ask next?" She added: "He couldn't just sit down on the floor and play with them."

6:)Dr. Seuss also wrote books for adults that used the same style of verse and pictures: The Seven Lady Godivas, Oh, The Places You'll Go!, and his final book You're Only Old Once. The final book is a satire of hospitals, and the geriatric lifestyle.

7:)At the time of his death on September 24, 1991, some 200 million copies of his books, translated into 15 different languages, had found their way into homes and hearts around the world. Since then, sales continue to climb year after year.

8:) Six books were produced posthumously, all based on Dr. Seuss materials, with one exception: My Many Colored Days was written by Dr Suess himself in 1973, but the text was not discovered until after his death. Many of these posthumous books, such as Daisy-Head Mayzie and My Many Colored Days, were made into animated specials.

9:) On March 2,2004 the Us postal service unveiled a Dr. Suess stampin celebration of what would have been his 100th birthday. The stamp featured Geisel surrounded by six of the charactors from his books including my two favorites , the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch.

10:) To show support for Dr. Seuss - originally known as Theodore Seuss Geisel - on his birthday, the National Education Association (NEA) will hold its annual Read Across America on Monday, March 2, 2009. The NEA hopes that parents and teachers around the nation will spend some time today to read with a child.

How wonderful an outlook one must have on the world to write such stories as the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch. When asked where he got his ideas from Dr. Suess would usually frown and say he hated that question. He learned his way of rhyming from the pie selling chants his Mother used to sing him to sleep as a child but I would imagine his wildly animated charaters came from his own vivid imagination.

If you have children please spend some time reading to them today and every day. Children learn so much from being read to and they love the attention you give to them. Relax and enjoy a funny rhyming book from the long list of Suess books or choose something you like by another Author. Please spend time with your children. If you don't have children you can still read a childrens book and laugh. Even we adults need a chuckle now and then. Have a wonderful day!


Chameleon@CoffeeBreak said...

I read Dr. Seuss books to my kids (and to the kids I taught) so much that I could recite them verbatim. I used to do it standing in grocery lines when my kids were little... and invariably collected an audience of just about every kid under ten standing in line with their parents... and many of them could recite the books right along with me. It was so much fun!

Sunshine said...

Patsy, I have spent hours and hours reading Dr. Seuss books with my children. I noted in each one the date and the time they themselves finally were able to read it aloud to me. I may never part with my set! I can't wait to share them with grandchildren!

Pblacksaw said...

Chameleon~ I bet it was fun. I can just picture you with a crowd of kids gathered around all chanting.. one foot two foot red foot blue foot.. I bet those who didn't know what was being chanted were afraid of you.. a pied piper of toddlers in the check out line! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunshine~ I used to have them all But I gave a lot of Anthony's books to Mason's Mom while she was still married to Him.. Mason ( I hope) has those. The books that were Emily's are still in her closet in my guest room. Cooper loved to be read to but hated to read himself. He put all his books on top of the toy box I used for the day care kids. Some are torn some are just gone. The remainder of Anthony's I took along on the plane last year and gave to Maya. So Now I don't have a set of anything. Maybe I'll buy them for myself. Thanks for stopping by!

Have a wonderful day!

Justin said...

Thank you for advertising on my website.

feefifoto said...

Did you come across the story about the time Dr. Seuss spoke at a college graduation and the entire student body stood up and recited Green Eggs and Ham to him from memory? Sorry I can't recall where it happened but I read the story at the end of his biography: Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel by Judith and Neil Morgan.

Cascia said...

My kids love Dr. Seuss.

I recently found your blog on entrecard and I think it is pretty cool. I really enjoyed reading this post!

Pblacksaw said...

Justin~ you are welcome!

Feefifoto~ I had heard of that before.. I would love to have been there for that.

Cascia~ I am glad you found me and glad you enjoy your visits here.

Welcome to all who visit here..

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