Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Seussical Celebration

Theodore Geisel, AKA Dr. Seuss
This week marks the birthday of the late Theodore Geisel, known to generations of children as Dr. Seuss. It has been 75 years since his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was published (after first being rejected by more than 25 publishers), and schools and libraries across the area are holding events as part of the Read Across America initiative to celebrate the Seuss phenomenon. 

An exhibit of Seuss illustrations opens this Friday at the AFA Gallery in Soho, with readings by cast members from Seussical the Musical

Local libraries have events scheduled events throughout New York City and Long Island. Shops and some area malls, such as the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, NY, are sponsoring March events to celebrate Dr. Seuss and his legacy. 

There is a special PBS showing on Friday, March 2nd of The Cat in the Hat knows Alot About That series. Parents and children may enjoy tracking down a copy of the 1971 musical cartoon, with terrific, creative songs, featuring the inimitable Allan Sherman.

And, of course, there are the more than 40 children's books -- The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop, Green Eggs on Ham and so many more that are part of our national children's literature. Most parents have at least parts of these memorized, after reading them aloud multiple times. The rhyme and rhythm of these books provide an important structure for beginning readers, too.

One lesser-known fact about Theodore Geisel was that he worked for a time as a book editor at Random House Publishers. In fact, Jan and Stan Berenstain of Berenstain Bears fame credited him with helping them when they first created their popular book series. One more feather in the many hats of Dr. Seuss!

Photo By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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