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In Your Honor Dr. Seuss

Updated on July 29, 2013

The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat -- what do you think about that?
The Cat in the Hat -- what do you think about that? | Source

Theodor Seuss Geisel

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ― Dr. Seuss

What better advice for a writer and what better writer than Dr. Seuss? Dr. Seuss is known the world over as a children's writer of fun rhymes in his children's books. We know that many of Dr. Seuss's books have been made into movies and TV shows, the latest being "The Lorax" in movie theaters now. In honor of Dr. Seuss, his birthday, and the release of the Lorax, I thought it was time to write about Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. So, his birthday was recently celebrated by children all over this country which is what led me to think about writing about him.

Dick and Jane

A Dick and Jane book
A Dick and Jane book | Source

About Dr. Seuss

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living." - Dr. Seuss

You have to love a man who likes nonsense and thinks fantasy is necessary! He's not just an ordinary guy, however, Dr. Seuss was graduated from Dartmouth College and Lincoln College (in Oxford, England).

Geisel started using the pen name Dr. Seuss after he was forced to resign from his post as editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth humor magazine,Jack-O-Lantern. He was caught throwing a party and drinking gin with his friends in his room, and because this was back during Prohibition, he had to pay the price. He managed to keep writing for the magazine, but under the pseudonym “Seuss,” which was his mother’s maiden name. He started using “Dr. Seuss” after he graduated college, as a consolation to his father for never pursuing medicine.

Dr. Seuss published his first cartoon in the Saturday Evening Post in 1927. He contributed to many magazines in his early career. Before he started writing children’s books, Geisel was an ad man, creating satirical advertisements for General Electric, Standard Oil, NBC, and others. He was also a World War II political cartoonist, and joined the Army as a Captain, making educational and propaganda films. Two documentary films based on works he created (Hitler Lives? and Design for Death) won Academy Awards. (op cit)

It was in 1954 that he wrote "The Cat in the Hat" using 236 of the 250 words believed to be the words children needed to learn and know. It is rumored he wrote "The Cat in The Hat" because he thought the Dick and Jane books were boring. Dick and Jane books were the primary readers used in all the school; "See Dick. See Jane. See Dick run." I know I'm showing my age but I do remember Dick and Jane and Spot the dog and Fluff the cat!

Quotes Written by Dr. Seuss

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”
― Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

"Adults are obsolete children." - Dr. Seuss

At one time Dr. Seuss used the pen name Rosetta Stone. It was for a book he wrote called "Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo". His first children's book was actually "And To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street". He was on an eighty day boat ride back from Europe when the rhythmic sound of the engine got him thinking and he used that sound to make the rhythm in his book. The book was rejected by 43 publishing companies but was finally published by Vanguard Publishing.

Did you know "Green Eggs and Ham" has only fifty words in it? He wrote it on a bet that he couldn't write a book with only fifty words in it.

A fact that I find particularly amusing is that Dr. Seuss had no children of his own. It is rumored that his wife said he was afraid of them...can you imagine Dr. Seuss afraid of children? She said he was always wondering what they would ask him or what they would do next. Amazing that a man who wrote so many children's books couldn't relate to children!

Dr. Seuss Wrote Until He Was Eighty Years Old

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss wrote over 44 books. Did you know one of them was a book for adults? It was "You're Only Old Once! A Book for Obsolete Children". Did you notice in the last paragraph I used his quote about adults being obsolete children? He wrote it when he was eighty years old and had spent a lot of time in the hospital. The book made it to number one on the New York Times Best Seller List and stayed there for sixty weeks.

He did write an adult book earlier, in 1939 to be exact. It was called " Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History's Barest Family. It is a humorous story based on the legend of Lady Godiva, Dr. Seuss adds her family of nudists to the mix. The seven naked Godivas didn't do too well. The book was re-released in 1987 and is still available.

I can't imagine anyone who's never heard of Dr. Seuss. His rhymes, his books, now his movies and TV shows (all based on his books of course).

Yertle the Turtle Statue

Statue at the Quadrangle in Springfield Mass.
Statue at the Quadrangle in Springfield Mass. | Source

Books by Dr. Seuss

"Being crazy isn't enough." - Dr.Seuss

Did you know Dr. Seuss has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? And why not? Who is more famous than Dr. Seuss? In 1984, he received The Pulitzer Prize Committee for a Lifetime of Contribution to Children’s Literature. He also won three Caldecott Awards for his artwork, three Emmys, three Grammys, and an Academy Award. Not bad for the author of children's books!

Other books by Dr. Seuss include:

Green Eggs and Ham
Oh! The Places You'll Go
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Horton Hears a Who
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
There's a Wocket in My Pocket
The Foot Book

Poem About Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss wrote some books
Never mentioning crooks
For the looks at his books
Were for students and cooks.

He wrote about yertle and cats in a hat
My goodness, dear me, what to think about that?
There wasn't a brat or a gnat with a bat
Just the story about the dear cat in the hat.

So love him or leave him he was a great man
Who surely was not just a flash in the pan
But somebody who knew that anyone can
As long as they try and start out with a plan.

It would be great if you shared your thoughts on Dr. Seuss in the Comments section of this hub and shared it with your friends.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

How many Dr. Seuss books have you read?

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      We certainly live and learn! Puff you say. Seuss wrote for all and that's probably why we all enjoy his books so much. Thanks for the lovely comment Aufait and the votes!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I love Dr. Seuss books and my daughter owned every one. In fact Bears On Wheels was the very first book my daughter read all by herself with no help at age 4. He has some really great books that have messages in them for adults too. The Butter Battle Book -- I recommend it to all. The BBB has a message for every age, and he wrote others that speak to everyone on different levels, too.

      Regarding Dick, Jane, and Sally, Spot and PUFF -- yes, it was Puff, not Fluff. Don't expect you to take my word for it so leaving you a reference.

      A wonderful tribute to Dr. Seuss. Voted up and BAUI!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Thanks for resurrecting this Linda. No better time than his birthday to remember his greatness and talent.

      Teaches you are not alone! I wonder how many homes have Green Eggs and Ham, Sam I am.....

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Wonderful post on such a talented and intersting author. I have a few of his books and still enjoy reading them, I just pretend they are for my grandkids.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Thank you for coming back Jon...I am glad you felt it was worth a return visit.

      Ytsenoh happy you could find out something new.

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      tillsontitan, what a great hub. Grew up on his books and my children did. I love "The Cat in the Hat!" How could anyone not love Dr. Suess? You taught me some things I didn't know about him. Thank you.

    • jonmcclusk profile image

      Jonathan McCloskey 4 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

      Fantastic tribute. I just realized I had this bookmarked to read and I am glad that I had finally gotten around to reading this great article.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Jen. I think the man was brilliant!

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great information! I love Dr. Suess quotes.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Susan, what great books to read in a reading program! (I'm crossing my fingers for grandchildren for you too!)

      Blondey, Seuss was a genius, writing books for children that everyone can enjoy AND learn from.

      Genna, I loved your opening quote....that's my Seuss! Thanks for reading.

      Jaye, Seuss is a favorite with all children once they've been introduced. I agree his books are ageless. God bless you and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      What a delightful hub! Dr. Seuss richly deserved every award he ever won, as well as this glowing tribute from you. How fantastic that you've reminded us of this wonderful man whose books thrilled (and continue to do so) several generations of children. The Dr. Seuss books will never be outdated.

      I've been reading Dr. Seuss books to children for a lo-o-o-ong time! Beginning with my own children (now middle-aged) and continuing to my great-grand-children, I've sat beside them, turning pages and reading aloud those marvelous verses that even grownups enjoy. Some of the "greats" are learning to read on their own, so I keep Dr. Seuss books at my house for them to find when they visit. There are other children's books available for them, but I've noticed they usually head for the Dr. Seuss books first. Can you blame them?


    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "Adults are obsolete children." - Dr. Seuss

      How can you not love this man?

      What did he say about children… “You have them – I’ll entertain them.”

      He did more than that. I still read Seuss. He could get his message across without sounding like he was giving a sermon. A satirist and humorist with the sense of naughtiness and giggles in a wonderful, weird world that blends the adult with the child.

      Excellent hub, Till. :-)

    • blondey profile image

      Blondey Hubpages 5 years ago

      Hey tillsontitan,

      This a truly amazing and inspirational hub!

      Imagine how much one can learn by reading books like his for children, bringing back a childlike spirt in us, and so filled with common sense and uplifting!

      Going to have to get some of his books real soon!!


    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      So glad I caught this today in the feed. Must have been Doc sharing it:)

      I loved reading Dr. Seuss as a child, then to my sons and then I got to read him again to students in a reading program that I volunteer at. Hopefully some day I'll read Dr. Seuss to my grandchildren. (fingers crossed lol).

      I too learned how to read by reading Dick and Jane. See Spot run :)

      Enjoyed your hub on this great man.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Mohan. I totally agree with everything you said and guess that's why I love him too. I love reading his books to my grandchildren, though I currently have only one young enough to do that to.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      I like the way he mixed silly rhymes with serious themes such as 'Green living' (Lorax) , Racism ( Starbelly Sneetches), ' Having fun ( Cat in the Hat), Size doesn't matter when it comes to significance ( Horton Hears a who! He is a perfect teacher, he doesn't shove a message down the throats but instead uses rhyme and nonsense to teach- my idol! thank you Mary for this wonderful hub on the Good Doctor. voted up and shared!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      However Michael when you have a mind like Seuss you can bring imagination to life! Thanks for stopping by.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      yes, that is something we all wished we cd do turn fantasy into reality. but when you make the fantasy come trut it isn't always what you expected.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Debby, so often we know so little about people we admire. I enjoyed researching Seuss and finding out he was human too! Of course I was of the Dick and Jane era but met Seuss when my kids were little. Have a great day.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 5 years ago

      Dear Mary ~ High marks for the book reviews and biographical data. You get extra credit for the "Dick and Jane" reference image, which is what I learned to read from as a child.

      I can't imagine any child growing up without reading Dr Seuss. I loved reading the tidbits about where he derived his storybook ideas and the fact he did not have any children. Blessings, Debby

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I think he was brilliant too. His rhymes are infectious Pamela.

      Ah Sunshine, swimming against the tide! It's okay, that's why there's vanilla & chocolate. Glad you read and liked my hub though, and I respect your honesty!

      I guess the characters could be difficult to grasp, I mean how many people have actually seen a Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz? Glad you're enjoying now. Thanks for stopping by Electro Denizen.

    • Electro-Denizen profile image

      Charles 5 years ago from Wales, UK

      I was always afraid of Dr.Seuss books as a child! Was I the only one? For some reason, I found his imagery disconcerting. Not today though, thankfully :-)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I'm not a fan of Dr. Seuss. He's just too repetitive for me. I like your hub though!:)

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      I love Doctor Seuss, I have many of his quotes on Pinterest. He was a brilliant man and I wish he had written more books.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      You are most welcome askpanditji, so much to learn about our beloved Dr.Seuss.

      I know, can you imagine getting kicked out of a bar with Dr.Seuss!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Drinking with Dr. Suess, now that would be a good time! Great hub, voted up and awesome!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Nell. I knew the 'younger' generation would relate better than those my age. I read these books to my kids and grandchildren.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, I remember his books very well, I can still see myself sitting in school reading the cat in the hat and others, this brought back so many memories! voted up! cheers nell

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Love ya!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Great....I'm staying up all night and pigging out on crap from McDonald's.....Thanks for the tip!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I agree Billy Seuss was really inspirational to people of all ages.

      True Bob, making kids laugh AND learn to read.

      The Who you seek is the Who you meet when you know Who writes for you Effer! Supplements...lack of sleep and junk food ;)

      I think Seuss is everlasting Micahel. We can't ever forget him.

      xstatic, you are certainly not alone in your approach to obsolescence, we are a growing group!

      Suzettenaples, so nice of you to stop by and reminisce. Also nice to meet someone who Dr. Seuss actually influenced. I am only too happy to pay him tribute.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub and walk down memory lane! I am from the Dr, Seuss era and learned to read from Dr. Seuss books. My mom made me read one every night after dinner and look at me now! A Hubber! LOL Dr. Seuss was a genius in my mind and so many children have learned to read from his books. They are simple, silly, and sensational. I'm so glad you remembered this important man!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Really a great tribute to a great man and writer. I learned a lot about him here. I want to read that one for obselete children, am approaching true obselecence. Loved that poem at the end!

      Am sharing too, everyone needs to know more about the good Dr.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      very cool hub, love the quotes from him, so simple but yet so thought provoking. Thanks for this. I love it. makes me feel young once more. might have to go reread all of his books again.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Till....Whatever supplement it is you take to keep your Writer's brain healthy and hoppin...send me some.

      This hub is ingenious... WHO would ever think to write about Dr. Seuss? Oh yeah, I know WHO! Tillie, that's WHO!! Horton Sees a WHO....and so do I!!

      With 10 grandchildren...I have a complete WALL of Dr. Seuss books....and much more!! Dr. Seuss rocks!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      A useful expose on a great man who did the most important job anyone can, made kids laugh.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A great tribute to a wonderful and inspirational writer who made me laugh so many times over the years. Great hub!