Today is 2 March. Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904.
Geisel wrote 48 books, including some for adults. These have sold well over hundreds of million copies and been translated into multiple languages.
Here are some fun facts about Geisel:
- He was the editor of his school’s humor magazine when studying at Dartmouth College, one of the top colleges in USA. That was when he adopted the pen name of “Dr. Seuss” even though he was not a medical doctor nor had a doctorate degree.
- He then studied at Oxford University where he met his first wife. She encouraged him to become a professional illustrator. Back in America, Geisel worked as a cartoonist for a variety of magazines and in advertising. He became quite rich and famous for his illustrations.
- The first children’s book that he wrote and illustrated, “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street”. It was rejected by over two dozen publishers before making it into print in 1937.
- During World War II, he switched to illustrate political cartoons and animation for films. One of his animation won a TV prize in 1947 for best documentary feature.
- After the war, he returned to writing children books. His first bestseller was “The Cat in the Hat”, published in 1957.
- Many of his books became best sellers after that. Many were also made into movies, such as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “The Cat in the Hat” and “Horton Hears a Who”. Have you watched any of these movies?
- In 1956, his alma mater Dartmouth College awarded him an honorary doctorate, fulfilling the Dr. in his name officially.
- Geisel died of cancer in 1991 at the age of 87.
- His books have sold over 600 million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages. Not many people can claim that type of fame. His books are special because they are written and illustrated to let children learn new vocabulary in a fun way. Who says reading is boring!
- 2nd March is now celebrated as National Read Across America Day. Not bad at all to have your birthday celebrated as a national reading day.
Go pick up a Dr Seuss book. Try to illustrate it in as fun a manner as you can without looking at his illustrations. Then create your own crazy stories!