Happy birthday to Dr. Seuss, the beloved children's author of over 40 picture books, including his two most popular books, Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat! His influence is seen most clearly in the National Education Association's event to promote children's literacy, Read Across America, a celebration of Dr. Seuss and his books that is held yearly on March 2nd, Seuss' birthday, or "Dr. Seuss Day".
Seuss began writing children's books in 1937 with And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, which went through many rejections before finally reaching publication. He published three more books, but interrupted the writing of his fifth picture book, McElligot’s Pool, in 1941 to begin writing political cartoons during World War II. By 1950, Seuss was back on the picture book track with the publication of If I Ran the Zoo. His distinction as a beloved children's author really began when Life magazine published an article in 1954 about why children were not reading. The article called the Dick and Jane children's books of the time "boring" and claimed that this was the reason that children were not learning to read. The director of publisher Houghtin Mifflin at the time - an old collegue of Seuss' - challenged Seuss to write an engaging, fun children's book comprised of no more than 225 different words. From this list of words he was given, Seuss created the classic children's picture book The Cat in the Hat in 1957. The book was a raging success, and this inspired Seuss and his wife to start Beginner Books, a division of Random House that would publish books for early readers.
Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham in much the same way. In 1960, a friend remarked that Seuss could not write a book with fewer than 50 words, and Green Eggs and Ham was born. Seuss continued to write Beginner Books, and even dipped his pen into the realm of political or moralistic children's tales. The Lorax, Yertle the Turtle, The Butter Battle Book, The Sneeches, and Horton Hears a Who! are several of Seuss' books that he used to teach important lessons to children about racism, freedom, environmentalism, and even the futility of the arms race. Seuss wanted to teach children without boring or preaching to them. He was quoted as saying, "I think I can communicate with kids because I don’t try to communicate with kids. Ninety percent of the children’s books patronize the child and say there’s a difference between you and me, so you listen to this story. I, for some reason or another, don’t do that. I treat the child as an equal."
Though he died in 1991, Seuss' books are still favorites with children and parents alike today. The rhythm, rhyme, and whimsical nonsense found in his books appeal to readers of every kind. Seuss' obvious influence on child literacy continues over two decades after his death. Just last summer, publisher Penguin Random House discovered and published a never-before-seen book by Dr. Seuss, What Pet Should I Get!
Learn more about Dr. Seuss!
Have a ball with Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat in this classic picture book...but don't forget to clean up your mess!
This Dr. Seuss classic starring Sam-I-Am will have readers of all ages craving Green Eggs and Ham!
And don’t miss the new series adaption of Green Eggs and Ham now available on Netflix – featuring the voice talents of Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Daveed Diggs, and more!
Celebrate nature with Dr. Seuss and the Lorax in this classic picture book about protecting the environment!
I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
The Butter Battle Book, Dr. Seuss's classic cautionary tale, introduces readers to the important lesson of respecting differences. The Yooks and Zooks share a love of buttered bread, but animosity brews between the two groups because they prefer to enjoy the tasty treat differently.
Dr. Seuss’s very first book for children! From a mere horse and wagon, young Marco concocts a colorful cast of characters, making Mulberry Street the most interesting location in town. Dr.
Animals abound in Dr. Seuss’s Caldecott Honor–winning picture book If I Ran the Zoo. Gerald McGrew imagines the myriad of animals he’d have in his very own zoo, and the adventures he’ll have to go on in order to gather them all. Featuring everything from a lion with ten feet to a Fizza-ma-Wizza-ma-Dill, this is a classic Seussian crowd-pleaser.
Choose kindness with Horton the elephant and the Whos of Who-ville in this 65th Anniversary Edition of Dr. Seuss's classic picture book about caring for others! The new matte finish cover and peel-off Anniversary Sticker make it a perfect gift!
A person's a person, no matter how small.
Dr. Seuss presents three modern fables in the rhyming favorite Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The collection features tales about greed (“Yertle the Turtle”), vanity (“Gertrude McFuzz”), and pride (“The Big Brag”). In no other book does a small burp have such political importance! Yet again, Dr.
Count and explore the zany world and words of Seuss in this classic picture book!
Dr. Seuss’s wonderfully wise Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is the perfect send-off for grads—from nursery school, high school, college, and beyond!