Today is a day to celebrate in the world of children’s literature and in the United States we celebrate as Read Across America. It is the day Theodor Seuss Geisel was born. Though he may not have been a real Doctor, but we all knew him as Dr. Seuss. He was born on this day in 1904 in Springfield Massachusetts. During his life he wrote 46 children’s books, but his career began as a cartoonist in college and later for the U.S. Army. In 1947 he wrote a documentary called “Design for Death” which won the Academy Award for Documentary Features.
After World War II Geisel moved to La Jolla, California and returned to writing children’s books. It was during this time that he developed his characteristic rhythm and rhyme that made his books such a joy for kids and adults. Books like “The Cat in the Hat”, “If I ran the Zoo” and “Green Eggs and Ham” have become the canon for children’s libraries. In 1956 Geisel was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Dartmouth University and after that he began using the “Dr.” in his pen name.
Seuss was a perfectionist and it was not unusual for him to take a year to produce a completed book. His creative process would often lead him to toss out 95% of his work on a book and begin from scratch.
In 1991 Seuss passed away from oral cancer at the age of 87. Though he never won a Caldecott or a Newbery Medal he was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal and a special Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to children’s literature. Today his books have been translated into over 20 languages and have sold over 600 million copies worldwide. If your life or your child’s life has not been touched in some way by Dr. Seuss it’s not too late, stop by and check out his books at Landmark Books today!