Friday, March 2, 2012

I LOVE Dr. Seuss

Theodor Geisel starting penning his name “Seuss” in Dartmouth College humor magazine, the Jack-O-Lantern.  Seuss was the maiden name of his mother and had been given to him as his middle name (I did the same thing with my Jenna – used my maiden name for her middle)

          He did advertisements for Sinclair Oil, political cartoons and army training movies before Viking Press offered him a contract to illustrate a collection of children's sayings called Boners. Although the book was not a commercial success, the illustrations received great reviews, providing Ted with his first "big break" into children's literature. Ted credited his mother with both his ability and desire to create the rhymes for which he became so well known.

          There are some people who are not aware of the political statements that Dr. Seuss has made in his books.  Accepting differences (the Sneetches) building bombs that are better (The Butter Battle) and Hitler’s desires to rule (Yertle the Turtle) among many. And some he wrote as a challenge (Green Eggs and Ham contains only 50 words)  I Love Dr. Seuss!

          All week Jenna has been looking forward to today – as the school will be celebrating our beloved authors’ 108th birthday.  She’s been toting over a pound worth of books in her backpack since Tuesday. She says she could bring only “Dr. Seuss” books.  But there is at least one by Theo Lesieg.  I told her if anyone asked she could explain that it is the same author – it was the name he used when the illustrations were not his own.  Lesieg is his German name spelled backwards.

          She’s taken her English version of “Horton Hears a Who” to compare to her teacher’s Spanish version to see how well she can follow it.  I think that is awesome!

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