Becoming Dr. Seuss
Nothing is better than some quality time with the good doctor.
I love Dr. Seuss. I have for as long as I can remember. When my mom would take me to the library when I was little my first two stops were 1) the VHS* section to see if Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was in and 2) the rack of Dr. Seuss books in the middle of the children’s room. I rarely went home empty-handed, but it was a banner day when I got my hands on a Dr. Seuss book I hadn’t read before. My favorites were On Beyond Zebra and Yertle the Turtle. I also like the Grinch.
Recently, I was wandering around on the third floor of our library, you know - like I do sometimes, and this book about Dr. Seuss almost jumped off the new biography shelf into my hands. As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d read it.
400+ pages? No problem. For Dr. Seuss, I got nothing but time.
Unfortunately, the book got buried on my desk the first time I checked it out and I only managed to read the first chapter before I had to turn it back in. I immediately put it on hold and then I had to wait an agonized set of weeks until I could jump back in. Initially, I was a little worried that such a big book would be dry, but that first chapter really stuck with me and I wanted to get back into the story.
The rest of the book did not disappoint. I learned so much about everyone’s favorite doctor as I read. I never knew he’d been an advertising man before writing children’s books. Or that he served during World War II with Frank Capra in the Signal Corps making propaganda films for the army. I also didn’t know that he’d been married twice, but I’ll save all those juicy details for you.
A big reason I’m such a reader to this day can easily be traced back to Dr. Seuss. My mom would never read his books to my brother and me because she hated all the tongue twisters. I had to learn to read them myself because I was never patient enough to wait for my dad. (My dad was good bed-time reader, he just didn't want to read them all day, every day like I did.) To be honest, I bet I had most of them memorized: I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I-Am. I do not like them in my face. I do not like them anyplace.
Maybe I still do.
If you have ever heard a Who with Horton or gotten in trouble with the Cat in the Hat, you need to check out this one. It doesn’t rhyme all of the time, but it’s still a good read.
*Millenials - Google it.