This week is Dr. Seuss' birthday.
I never really understood why certain people got their birthday celebrated for a week and got all sorts of recognition. While others just have to settle for one measly schmeasly day.
Actually now that I think about it, sometimes it seems like my friends and I are celebrating each others birthdays for like months since we don't actually do anything for that particular individual until five months later. Never the day of. But in all actuality, we are just really, really busy people and don't get the time to celebrate the day of. Either that, or we're too lazy. Or broke. Or both.
But that's neither important nor relevant to Dr. Seuss.
So moving along to the point: this week I was reading one of his books: Fox on Socks to one of my precious students. While reading the book, I was getting irritated because 1. The kid wasn't listening to me and 2. While reading it, I kept thinking that it made no sense.
Later on in the day after reading that book to the annoying kid, I was complaining to a coworker of mine about how Dr. Seuss books are pointless and how I couldn't believe that someone got paid to write stuff like that and then go on becoming as famous as he did. And really rich. While ranting to my co-worker, another co-worker jumps in and says that Dr. Seuss' books do make sense and each book has a hidden message about various issues that go on in the world. Or went on in the world.
I didn’t see how that was possible. So she went on to explain to me that some of his books deal with racism and environmentalism and ethnocentrism and all sorts of isms.
I didn’t believe her.
So I wikipediaed it. (I heart wikipedia. It has like EVERYTHING. And I don't understand why it's not considered a scholarly source to use when writing umm scholarly-ish papers)
And it turns out she’s right.
According to Wikipedia:
Many of Dr. Seuss's books are thought to express his views on a myriad of social and political issues: The Lorax (1971), about environmentalism and anti-consumerism; The Sneetches (1961), about racial equality; The Butter Battle Book (1984), about the arms race; Yertle the Turtle (1958), about anti-fascism and anti-authoritarianism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), about anti-materialism; and Horton Hears a Who! (1954), about anti-isolationism and internationalism.
And here is an example from one of his books Yertle the Turtle. As stated earlier, this story is thought to have been about anti-authoritarianism:
And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course... all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.
Alas! What would we do without Wiki.
Seriously who would’ve thought.
So I do apologize to Dr. Seuss and any die hard Dr. Seuss fans out there for doubting his writing style and mocking his work and accusing him of making absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Do forgive my ignorance.
And in honor of him and his birthday I wanted to share some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. (Quotes that aren’t necessarily from his books, but inspirational nonetheless)
- “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
- “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own.
And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
- Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
- “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you.”
- Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.