“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
March 2nd marks the birthday of one of this country’s most celebrated children’s authors, Dr. Seuss. So great was his success in the fight towards literacy in children, that the anniversary of his birthday has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, which is an initiative on reading and literacy created by the National Education Association.
Born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, this American writer, poet and cartoonist was better known by his pen name “Dr. Seuss,” under which he wrote some of the most popular children’s books of his, or anyone else’s, time. Characterized by his imaginative characters, rhymes and use of anapestic meter, Dr. Seuss is best known for titles such as Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Lorax.
Dr. Seuss’s true legacy began in the middle 1950s, after Life Magazine published a report depicting the alarming rate of illiteracy amongst school children. According to this report, children were having great difficulties reading due to the fact that most children’s books at the time were so boring. The Director of the Educational Division at the Houghton Mifflin publishing house, William Ellsworth Spaulding took these words to heart and compiled a list of 350 words he felt all first graders should know, presenting them to his most established writer. It was here that he challenged Theodor Seuss Geisel to use only these words to craft “…a book that children can’t put down.” Nine months later, using 236 of these words, Geisel completed The Cat in the Hat. Due to the fact that it was written in simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers.
The Cat in the Hat, along with his subsequent books written for young children, was penned under the name Dr. Seuss and achieved immediate success—so much success, in fact, that his books sell more copies today than in any other time in this great writer’s history and gain in popularity as the years roll on.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Seuss had no children of his own and has been quoted as saying, “You have ‘em; I’ll entertain ‘em.” Dr. Seuss passed away on September 24th, 1991, but always the champion of optimism, Dr. Seuss was also quoted as saying, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” This is just one example of the power of Dr. Seuss’ words, as his humor, rhyme and legends live on.
Here at VTech, in recognition of this day,
We’d love to help out and teach your children the way!
Have them pick up a book and we’ll all read together,
No matter the time, the subject, the place or the weather!
Help celebrate the achievements and birthday of one of this country’s most celebrated children’s authors:
Start off your day with a little food coloring treat, to make green eggs and ham for the little ones to eat!
Play some rhyming games in the fashion of Dr. Seuss, with all of the words your children normally use!
There are plenty of crafts you can do on this special day, just Google Dr. Seuss crafts and they’ll show you the way!
Read as many Dr. Seuss books as you possibly can, if they aren’t already, they’ll soon be a fan!
Dr. Seuss truly created a love of reading in young children. VTech has made many strides in continuing the good doctor’s work! Go to www.vtechkids/download and download some new e-books from VTech’s Learning Lodge Navigator. We have engaging e-books that are available for your child’s InnoTab, MobiGo and V.Reader products. Not only can they read with you, but with the help of these award-winning VTech products, they can continue their journey in learning how to read on their own. No matter what you decide to do, be sure that you read with your child as much as you can. Not only on Dr. Seuss’ birthday…but every day!