For the Love of Dr. Seuss

March 2, 1904 is the birthday of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss).

I remember loving Dr. Seuss’s books from when I was little and my daughter received a hand-me-down collection of his early reader books (Go Dog Go, Mr. Brown Can Moo, There’s A Wocket in My Pocket, etc.) before she was even born. They quickly became some of her favorites as well.

As she gets older, it’s interesting to see her begin to question the characters and images portrayed in Dr. Seuss’s books since they require a bit of imagination.

“What’s that?” she’ll ask continually.

“It a half duck, half dog wearing shoes,” I’ll say.

“What’s that?” she’ll ask on the next page.

“It’s a kangeroo riding an elephant with a wig on.”

“What’s that?” she’ll ask again.

“Ummmm…. It’s a… Fiffer-Feffer-Feff.”


I don’t have the heart to tell her she is never going to bump into a Fiffer-Feffer-Feff in real life.

I’m an out-of-the-box thinker myself so I love how Dr. Seuss’s books inspire imagination and creativity. I remember going to Universal Studios when I was younger and being told the entire Dr. Seuss section of the park was constructed without using one straight line.

But Dr. Seuss’s books aren’t only wacky illustrations and silly rhymes. They also often contain sophisticated lessons about discrimination (The Star Bellied Sneetches), sustainability (The Lorax) and materialism (How the Grinch Stole Christmas).

Did you know Dr. Seuss never had any children? He is quoted as saying: ‘You have ‘em; I’ll entertain ‘em.’

That he did.

Below are 15 fun facts about 15 of Dr. Seuss’s most popular books.

  • And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street 1 of 15
    And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street
    This was Seuss's first book. It was rejected 27 times before being published in 1937.
  • Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! 2 of 15
    Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!
    This book came out two months after the Watergate Scandal and as a result, it was rumored to be about Richard Nixon. Although it's highly unlikely that a book could have been written and published in such short time, Seuss did appreciate the similarities. He sent a copy to a friend at the Washington Post with Nixon's name replacing Mooney's within the book. The Post printed it in it's entirety.
  • The Cat in the Hat 3 of 15
    The Cat in the Hat
    Written due to a dare from Seuss's editor who was looking to publish children's books that weren't boring. He gave Seuss a list of 250 age appropriate words and the book uses every single one of them.
  • Green Eggs and Ham 4 of 15
    Green Eggs and Ham
    This book was written because Seuss's editor bet him that he couldn't write a book in 50 words or less.
  • The Sneetches 5 of 15
    The Sneetches
    The Star-Bellied Sneetches is the most well-known story from this book, written as a lesson against prejudice and discrimination.
  • If I Ran a Zoo 6 of 15
    If I Ran a Zoo
    Contains the first recorded use of the word "nerd".
  • Horton Hears a Who 7 of 15
    Horton Hears a Who
    The line "a person is a person no matter how small" was used as a pro-life slogan which outraged Dr. Seuss who never had any intention of creating such a message.
  • Hop on Pop 8 of 15
    Hop on Pop
    In an interview with Laura Bush, she deemed Hop on Pop her father's favorite children's book.
  • The Butter Battle Book 9 of 15
    The Butter Battle Book
    This book is about the nuclear arms race with the moral being that war doesn't solve anything. Consequentially, it was banned from US libraries for many years during the Cold War.
  • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back 10 of 15
    The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
    There was supposed to be a second Cat in the Hat movie based on The Cat in the Hat Comes Back but Seuss's widow pulled the plug after disliking the first one.
  • Fox in Socks 11 of 15
    Fox in Socks
    Was once thought to be the longest tongue twister ever written.
  • Yertle the Turtle 12 of 15
    Yertle the Turtle
    The moral of the story is to question authority and it's rumored to be about Hitler. Random House was more concerned that parents would be offended by the "BURP" at the end.
  • The Lorax 13 of 15
    The Lorax
    The book's message is to live sustainably. The logging industry took issue with The Lorax and printed their own book called The Truax in which a logger is the hero.
  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas 14 of 15
    The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
    The man who sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" in the movie is Thurl Ravenscroft, otherwise known as Tony the Tiger.
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 15 of 15
    Oh, The Places You'll Go!
    Dr. Suess's final book sells about 300,000 copies a year because so many people give it to high school and college graduates.

    I wrote a parody of the book as an 'ode to new moms'. Check it out by clicking here.

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts.
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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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