Thursday, March 28, 2019

Dr. Seuss by Cindy J. Smith

Seuss did not start out as a children's author

Related image

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born March 2, 1904 in  Springfield, MA and died September 24, 1991 in La Jolla, CA. He never had children, stating often that he preferred to just entertain those of others.

Seuss did not start out as a children's author.  He wrote political cartoons and advertisements for several magazines.  His anti-Japanese cartoons helped to fuel the flames of distrust in Americans for their neighbors.  After the war, however, Seuss went to Japan and he realized the effect or WWII on everyone. His book, Horton Hears A Who, seems to represent his change of heart as Horton continuously repeats “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Dr. Seuss decided to try his hand at children's literature when he saw how rampant illiteracy was becoming.  He believed the boring nature of children's books was the main reason for the lack of desire to learn to read.

I was surprised to learn that Cat In The Hat was not his first children's book. His first was:  And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.  It had been rejected 27 times before he showed it to a former classmate who worked for Vangard Press. Knowing this talented man received rejection letters lessens the sting from those I receive.

He not only wrote his children's books, he illustrated them. He also did several animated works, both political and book related. He received many awards in his career including two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Pulitzer Prize and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

I found it interesting to learn that I, along with most people, have always mispronounced his name as is remarked by Alexander Laing who wrote: 
"You're wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn't rejoice
If you're calling him Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice"

One of his many well-known books, Green Eggs and Ham was written because of a bet with his publisher that he could not write a book using less than the 236 words he used in The Cat in the Hat.  He won the bet as the book only uses 50!
I know I read somewhere that his book, Fox In Socks, was written as a fun way to help children with speech impediments, however, I cannot find it referenced anywhere now.

Dr.Seuss is my lifelong favorite author. He is my inspiration. The way his books could evoke feelings of morality without forcing the issue amazed me. His style of writing led me to mine.  I write in the first person, to show people different viewpoints while never aiming my finger at anyone.  My desire being to enlighten people to become more caring, more humane.