Why Dr. Seuss is still the bees knees 76 years later
Though it was 76 years ago when Dr. Seuss published his first children’s book, And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, it was his thirteenth book published in 1957 that really sealed Dr. Seuss’s magical connection with young readers. His introduction of the mischievously unforgettable and much beloved The Cat in the Hat was just a glimpse of what was yet to come and what would become an endless love story between generations of children and dozens of books written and illustrated from the delightfully imaginative mind of Theodor Seuss Geisel – more commonly known as Dr. Seuss.
When the latest must-haves become old news in the blink of an eye, it’s with no small amount of wonderment that we do indeed still consider the works of Dr. Seuss to be the bees knees when it comes to filling our children’s libraries.
I had been a Dr. Seuss fan since I was just a wee one, having fun in his wondrous world of words and illustrations, yet the thing that really made me fall back into love with Dr. Seuss was the day I overheard my daughter reading bits and pieces of Green Eggs and Ham. Sure, we’d had the books in our home library since she was born, but she hadn’t really embraced the wonderful world of Seuss yet. (With the exception of Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?) But finally there she was, the girl who would much rather mom do the reading, losing herself in the silliness of Dr. Seuss. From that point forward Dr. Seuss was back in action and off the bookshelf in our house.
There’s a reason Dr. Seuss’s work in children’s literature has transcended generations. With his combination of real and nonsensical words put to rhyme, it’s no wonder that Dr. Seuss has managed to stand the test of time. How can you not love something that is just begging you to dive wholeheartedly into your imagination? Even more than silliness and colorfully unique illustrations, Dr. Seuss books contain a message that kids can learn from and relate to. I would also argue that his use of nonsense words helps to create more confident readers. My daughter’s kindergarten school year has taught me that the schools find nonsense words beneficial in teaching kiddos their letter sounds and sounding words out; you’d be hard-pressed to find a better balance of real and nonsense words than in Dr. Seuss books.
In the end, perhaps the reason Dr. Seuss is still the bees knees over 70 years later is as simple as, he made reading fun.
Each year Dr. Seuss’s birthday is one that is recognized and celebrated in schools, book stores, and libraries with Read Across America events. We’ll be bringing you more information on ways to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday – observed this year on March 1.
What Dr. Seuss books are favorites in your household?