Like me, you can probably point to early memories of reading and/or hearing the voices of a parent reading to you. For me, the fun rhyming and colorful characters of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) still stay with me. Dr. Seuss books are unforgettable, but they also put a whole new perspective on literature (and, in particular, children’s literature).
Just think about The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, or Yurtle the Turtle…
Books aren’t dry or boring after all! They’re fun and entertaining–even favorites, as teaching and learning resources. But, more than that, the tongue-twisting tales of the great American master can offer something for readers of all ages. Yes, they are fun, educational tools for early learners (as early as babies and toddlers), but you’ll also find lines from Dr. Seuss that you will enjoy (even as a teenager and/or adult).
What is it about this great American writer, Dr. Seuss, that still transfixes us after all these years?
- Across the Ages: Dr. Seuss reaches across generations. He wrote books that babies and toddlers adore. Other books are perfect for beginning readers. And, there’s also something for the more advanced readers… He reaches us all!
- Reading Resource: For many of us, Dr. Seuss gave us our first forays into the world of reading and literature. Many of his books are fun and accessible–the type of volumes that we love to carry around with us, and even those books that get worn out by the countless times those tiny fingers thumb through them…
- Adaptability: The ideas of Dr. Seuss also translate well to a multitude of other adaptations. While arguably not as “great” as the original, movies–TV episodes, games, and other adapted works are great fun. In case you’re not aware, adaptations include: a Broadway musical, 11 television specials, four feature films, and so much more. There’s even a theme park: Seuss Landing at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.To me, all the many Seuss spin-offs will (hopefully) draw us all back to the original work–to enjoy the author’s real genius.
- Environmentally Conscious: It’s not something that everyone is , terribly thrilled about… The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, is famous for its message: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, / Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The Lorax speaks for the trees, and flies away when industrialization has devastated the landscape.
- Political: Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) was also a the chief editorial cartoonist for a New York magazine, who created more than 400 political cartoons. His ideas also appear in many of his best-known books: Yertle the Turtle, The Sneetches, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, and The Cat in the Hat… Can you guess which of the ideas of Dr. Seuss have been the most controversial?
- Silly: Dr. Seuss was (and is) known for his silliness! Just open any of his books, and you’ll discover something of the off-kilter flavor that he brings to his books. It always feels like he’s playing with language. Through reading his works, we’re encouraged to explore the true flavor and flare that language offers. “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere”–Dr. Seuss tells us… And, his 60+ books plainly demonstrate the silly, terribly hilarious, and lyrically beautiful way in which words and creative figures allow us “to laugh at all of life’s realities.”
- Award-Winning: Over the years, Dr. Seuss received many awards for his contributions to books and literature, including an award from the Pulitzer Prize Committee: Lifetime of Contribution to Children’s Literature (1984). If that weren’t impressive enough, he also received Caldecott Honor Awards (1947, 1949), a Peabody (1971), an Academy Award (1951), Emmy awards (1977, 1982), the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (1980), and the New York Library Lion (1986).
Of course, whole novel have (and could be) written about the wondrous world of Dr. Seuss. I’m a bit enamored by his words, and everything he’s come to represent in books and literature. He’s one of those figures who appears quite each for every book geek to appreciate for some reason.
So, tell me: Why do YOU love Dr. Seuss?