As far as I’m concerned, today should be a national holiday because it’s Dr. Seuss’ birthday. He was the first author I remember reading, the first writer whose name I actually knew, and first person whose books I would simply pull off the shelf because he wrote them. All that before I was four years old, too, and four-year olds are a tough audience.
I’ve read just about every book Dr. Seuss has written, and I own most of them. I still read The Lorax and How the Grinch Stole Christmas at least once a year. I even have a book containing all of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s political cartoons from World War II that goes beyond fascinating (if you want to see a different side of Dr. Seuss, check out Dr. Seuss Goes to War).
Dr. Seuss was a man ahead of his time, and tackled challenging issues in a kid-friendly way, everything from discrimination (The Sneetches) to environmental degradation (The Lorax) to materialism (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) to imperialism (Yertle the Turtle). The man had a lot to say and understood his audience well enough get the message across without his young readers even realizing it. As writers, we could learn from that.
So, what Dr. Seuss will you read today? Horton Hears a Who! . . . If I Ran the Zoo . . . On Beyond Zebra! . . . The Cat in the Hat?