Monday, March 02, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

If you're alive and on the Internet today, you know it's Dr. Seuss' birthday. I don't know how you can be a member of Generation X and not have had Dr. Seuss make a gigantic impact on your childhood.

I can remember that book club you could join, where books would come to your door each month—books! Delivered! Each month! I don't think we partook of this magical opportunity but the magic of getting books in the mail was not lost on me. This was a big thing in the 70s—see also Doubleday Book Club and Columbia House Records and tapes, where you could get like 20 records or tapes by taping a penny to the card and mailing it back. This may or may not be why the music business lost a lot of money. But I digress.

Dr. Seuss' birthday is a great time to wax nostalgic about reading. I may not have been a plastic-book-end-bearing member of the club, but I dutifully joined when I had my own kids. And while not all the books were authored by the Doctor himself, I've got favorites, new and old, from the books that came from the Dr. Seuss Learning Library.

Great Day for Up by Dr. Seuss.

This has to be my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss book and it also wins for most underrated title. It's not one found on the shortlists, at least not that I've seen, but it was a poetic favorite of mine.

I remember spending hours in the pictures of this book, it was one that I would easily and happily get lost in.
 It's Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler

This was one of my kids' favorite titles, possibly due to the fact that after reading it about a thousand and fifty times, I started ad-libbing. PJ Funnybunny didn't want to be a bunny anymore ... he wanted to be a ... [wait for it] ... ROOSTER! This would be met with a "Mommy! That's not a rooster!" and lots of laughing and so on and so forth. 

A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do after reading that same book a thousand and fifty one times, you know?

 One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

A true classic! I had a t-shirt of this book as a twenty-something and I gleefully wore it until it fell apart. I would read this one when I was a kid and it was my other favorite title.

I'd read this one to my kids and realize that it's not a good bedtime book because it was really long—and once your kids get to the age where you can't skip pages without them noticing, you must be very judicious in the books you choose to read at bedtime. Just sayin'.

Pizza Pat by Rita Golden Gelman

This one my son (now 12) and I still quote from. "It came from the oven—800 degrees!—that cooked the pizza and melted the cheese..." Seriously, this is a fun book to read out loud, the cadence of the words and the tale of Pat and his pizza destined for doom is just a lot of fun.
Summer by Alice Low

I love this book. It's like a trip to a time when life was easy and summertime was all cutoff shorts and pop in a glass bottle for a quarter and bare feet and wading in creeks and eating watermelon and picking dandelions and skipping rocks and climbing trees.

It doesn't resonate as much with my kids as it does me—they who spend more time in the AC than in the great outdoors, but it's a wonderful read before bedtime on a summer night when you still feel a little sting from the sun on your shoulders.


  1. I read them all as well as Are You My Mother. I think that was by P.D. Eastman.

    1. That one wrecks me. I can't read it without crying!