Today is Theodor Geisel’s birthday. He was born on March 2, 1904, and his love of writing changed the literary world and encouraged many a young reader to delve into new worlds and bring the lessons they learned there, into everyday life.
But wait. You don’t recognize the name, Theodor Geisel?
Well, how about Dr. Seuss?
There you go. Now I see the twinkle of understanding light your eyes.
This isn’t my normal Friday Fiction. I decided to forgo my own fiction in lieu of celebrating Theodor Geisel’s birthday. After all, I may not be writing at all if it wasn’t for this man.
Geisel’s first book And to Think That I Saw That on Mulberry Street was rejected by dozens of publishers before finally being accepted. It was printed in 1937 and quickly became a children’s favorite.
(This gives me hope… lol.)
His first bestseller, The Cat in the Hat, was published in 1957 bringing with it a whole new generation of early readers that dreaded reading from boring school primers. Soon Theodor Geisel, under the name of Dr. Seuss, had many other books in the hands of children, including:
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,
Yertle the Turtle,
Fox in Socks,
and Green Eggs and Ham.
Several of his books have been turned into movies including which became a cartoon version, a play, and a blockbuster movie starring Jim Carrey as The Grinch and Frank Welker as Max.
Surprisingly, as many adults love these stories as children. The serious themes Dr. Seuss tackled are put in such an imaginative and delightful way that all ages share in their joy. My favorite, Oh The Places We Go, has become a favorite high school and college graduation gift.
Even the silliest of his books and poems convey important themes. Too Many Daves is a short, one-page tale about a mother that named all her twenty-three sons Dave. This hilarious poem shows us how frustrating it would be if we were all alike. My own kids, and now my grandkiddos, love this poem.
The Pale Green Pants is another witty short story telling how we can be scared of what we don’t understand, but once explained we may find we like the very thing that once filled us with such fear.
This world lost Theodor Geisel on September 24, 1991, at the ripe old age of 87. He may no longer be with us, but he will live on to the end of days in the hearts of those who were blessed to read his work; both young and old alike.