Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

When people ask me who my favorite authors are, I answer with my top three (in no particular order) of Sherman Alexie, David Sedaris and Dr. Seuss. I’m not kidding. I would never kid about Dr. Seuss, kids. To this day, I find infinite inspiration in this literary genius’s words, and his gorgeous and imaginative artwork fills me with joy. I have even been known to dress up as a famous hat-wearing cat (back in my public school teaching days) to celebrate the big day of Mr. Theodor Seuss Geisel! I can attest to the fact that being a cat celebrity of that magnitude is quite exhausting. I was signing paw print autographs throughout the school all day long and needed a cat nap by 3:00. My partners in crime and I even dished up Green Eggs and Ham for the kids that day and this absent-minded cat accidentally left a plate of that deliciousness in the microwave, and we returned after a long weekend to find furry Green Eggs and Ham (and a dreadful smell!) in our classroom…instant science lesson! But I digress. What you really must know is that today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday!

My wish on his birthday is that you still find his words, characters and colorful drawings as inspirational as I do. What a groovy world we’d live in if everyone could keep these 30 quotes from his books at the forefront of their thoughts and actions, everyday. I also hope you’ll keep his legacy alive in the truest sense by sharing his books and his profound and eternally relevant messages with your children. The movie version of The Lorax is being released today. Many generations of kids have been moved by The Lorax’s powerful and cautionary tale of how rampant greed and consumerism destroyed the forest of Truffula Trees and the Brown Bar-ba-loots, Swomee-Swans and Humming-Fish that depended on them. This message is, sadly, more timely than ever. However, with the movie’s release, many child advocates are upset about how corporations have hijacked The Lorax, completely missing the whole point of the story or, more likely, imposing their power in spite of it. I have to agree. This article sheds light on their concerns and offers suggestions for enjoying the story while staying true to the message of (pardon the pun!) not buying into a consumer-driven life.

But before I get too riled up, up here on my soapbox, let me share a great list of activities celebrating Dr. Seuss and National Read Across America Day, which just so happens to non-coincidentally be today, as well! The Seattle Children’s Museum is hosting a celebration today.  Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah Highlands is hosting a Seuss-inspired breakfast, craft and story time.  Mockingbird Books is hosting a free Dr. Seuss story time featuring art activities, singing and snacks. But why limit the celebration to just one day? Here are a few additional, Seattle-area events for this weekend and the coming weeks. Can’t make it out of the house for the festivities? Here are a few sensational, Seussical ideas from Seattle’s Child for family fun at home.

Finally, just pick up a book, preferably ones with Sneeches, a Turtle named Yurtle or a Who-Hearing Horton, pull your pee wee close and just READ! As the good doctor prescribed, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

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