Happy Read Across America Day! Did you know that today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday? Dr. Seuss changed the world of reading for children. Every year we celebrate with Read Across America Day.
Dr. Seuss was born on March 2nd, 1904. His real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel but he wrote under the name Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg, and others. He started writing using the name Seuss in college after he was forced to resign from extracurricular activities after breaking the law. He added Dr. to his pen name because his dad always wanted him to practice medicine. Theo Geisel did all of the writing and illustrating for over 60 of the Dr. Seuss books.
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Why Read Across America is today
In 1954 literacy became a real big problem. Children’s literature wasn’t really a thing. There were books for kids but they weren’t interesting. Many kids had no motivation to learn how to read because of how boring their books were. The director of education at the Houghton Mifflin Company (a big well-known textbook company) came up with a list of 348 words that he thought were important for first-graders to know. He asked Dr. Seuss to come up with a top 250 from the list and write a book with only those words. A few months later The Cat in the Hat was born using 236 words on that list. Theo Gisel when on to write Green Eggs and Ham, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish using these lists. These books took off and literacy started rising in America.
So now we celebrate how amazing reading is every year on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday because he helped bring reading back by creating fun easy books for kids to read!
We Love Dr. Seuss
I love Dr. Seuss Books and so does my 9-month-old daughter. She loves reading as much as I do. She will crawl over to her little bookshelf and pull all the books into a pile so she can read them. Then she sits and flips the pages and looks at the bright colorful pictures. Her favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Foot Book. I don’t know if she likes all the opposites, the bright colors, the rhymes, or if she just likes feet. She is constantly playing with my feet and is obsessed with shoes and shoelaces.
I love that there are board book versions of Dr. Seuss’s books. They are some of my favorite gifts that I was given at my baby shower, so make sure to add them to your baby registry in the future or invest in them as an Easter or Christmas present. They are totally worth it!
Dr. Seuss wanted to leave behind a legacy of reading for all ages, and I think he did. A few of his books have been discontinued in the last year due to racial awareness in our community. Those particular books are not well known and I think it is completely within the company’s rights to stop producing them. There are so many other amazing books that Dr. Seuss is more well-known for, and those ones deserve to be read.
Finding a book to read doesn’t have to be hard. I have a whole collection of posts dedicated to helping readers find the next adventure. So make sure to check them out if you get stuck.
Which Dr. Seuss book is a favorite at your house?