Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hats off to the Cat

"We looked!
Then we saw him step in on the mat!
We looked! And we saw him! The Cat in the Hat!"

Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka "Dr. Seuss", was born on this day back in 1904. The master of rhymes and nonsense, he could take the ordinary and transform it into the most magical and whimsical characters and circumstances. He was a true artist; an imaginative child disguised as a grown-up who twisted our tongues, made us laugh and encouraged us to cheer for the underdog.

For as far back as I can remember, I loved reading Horton Hears A Who, Go Dog Go, Green Eggs and Ham, Ten Apples Up On Top, and of course, The Cat in the Hat. Many are the memories of sitting in comfy chairs, one leg draped over its arm in complete absorbtion as I read these charming tales.

When my children were little we lived in a community where March 2nd was spent in celebration of this beloved author. At school, green eggs and ham were served for lunch and the entire day was devoted to reading and illustration, an activity Seuss himself would have reveled in.

Today, I donned my "Cat in the Hat" T-shirt and brought bookmarks to school which I'd made for the students.......but the rhyming genius lay silent in most classrooms where this day passed by unnoticed. And yet, his legacy is larger than just one moment. Each day new little hands take up his books as they too, discover the world of whimsy which he painted so vividly.

Mr. Geisel passed from this earth on September 24, 1991 but what a wonderful treasure he left us! I can imagine his corner in Heaven filled with books and laughter as he once again recites his tales to a willing, listening and loving crowd.

"And he put them away,
Then he said, 'That is that.'
And then he was gone
With a tip of his hat."


martie said...

I absolutely love Dr. Suess books. I think I can recite "Green Eggs and Ham" from children and some of the grandchildren also loved this story. Another one of my favorites was his Birthday Book....we used to read that one every year on each childs birthday!

Thanks for the memories! HUGS

Networkchic said...

I have bought the whole collection for my daughter...some day she'll thank me.

Pete Mitchell said...

Dr. Seuss was one of my absolute favorites as a child. I've actually started re-reading him because I want to bring that playfulness and fun with words to my own children's writings.

And "The Circus McGurkus" was always a personal fave.

And have you ever read Beatrix Potter? She was a British author. You would love her works. Absolutely love them.

Lori said...

martie - he was just the best, wasn't he? And how wonderful we still have his legacy to share.

networkchic - That day will be soon. And though she may not voice her appreciation, you'll see it in her eyes and her laughter.

pete - I love Beatrix Potter's books. Not only are the stories endearing, but the illustrations are beautiful..charming.

srp said...

Nyssa always loved these books, well all books for that matter. In 9th grade she did a paper on Dr. Suess and then dressed with striped suspenders and her Cat in the Hat, hat to give the paper in class.

alan said...

I was very surprised a few years ago when I was in the Union bookstore at KU and there was a whole rack of Dr. Seuss merchandise; scarves, hats, etc..

Then I thought about it and smiled, because it wasn't surprising at all!


Mountaingirl said...

My boys love these books. I love to read 'Oh, the places you'll go."
He was such a wonderful writer. There are so many serious life lessons in his stories, but he told them in such a wonderful and funny way.

McSwain said...

Excellent! Dr. Seuss books are matchless, aren't they? We celebrated his birthday in our class March 2.