On March 2nd of 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts Theodor Seuss Geisel arrived in this world. Geisel would eventually grow up into one of the most influential authors in the world of Children’s Literature. Because of his great desire for literacy his birthday has become Read Across America Day. Dr. Seuss, one of the most quoted authors, his works are used to teach reading and utilized well into adulthood.
Theodor Geisel was born to Theodor Robert and Henrietta (Seuss) Geisel. He credits his mother for his talent for rhyme. He attended Dartmouth and later Oxford, but left Oxford without obtaining his PhD. He returned to the US to pursue his drawing career. Geisel’s first children’s book, “And To Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street,” filled with memories of his childhood home of Springfield, was rejected 27 time until Vangaurd Press took a chance with him. “The Cat in the Hat,” Geisel’s most defining book, was “developed as part of a unique joint venture between Houghton Mifflin (Vanguard Press) and Random House. Houghton Mifflin asked Ted to write and illustrate a children’s primer using only 225 “new-reader” vocabulary words. Because he was under contract to Random House, Random House obtained the trade publication rights, and Houghton Mifflin kept the school rights(catinthehat.org).”
By the time of his death in September of 1991, Geisel had written and illustrated 44 children’s books, translated into 15 languages, and published over 200 million copies all over the world. During his career, Dr. Seuss has incurred two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.
The National Education Association wanted to come up with a way to get children excited for reading. In 1997 they decided to put aside a day every year for schools to focus on reading, to get the children pumped up about reading, to make reading associated with fun. Well, what better day to celebrate reading than on the birthday of someone who has made such an impact on Children’s Literature and has created books that prove how enjoyable reading could be.
- The National Education Association has provided many links to ideas how to celebrate reading and to count down to March 2nd/3rd!
- Seussville offers some fun activities for parents and teachers to help students get excited for reading.
- ReadWriteThink shares some classroom activities and more links for you to celebrate Read Across America
Let us at Knowledge Tree help you celebrate!
We have a plethora of Dr. Seuss books ready just for you:
Tons of Dr. Seuss classroom decor:
And so much more!