Theodor Seuss Geisel, best known as Dr. Seuss, wrote and illustrated more than 60 books. Translated into 20 languages, they’ve sold 600 million copies worldwide. His stories have given birth to a dozen TV specials and four TV series, four feature films, and a Broadway musical. March 2, his birthday, has been adopted as National Read Across America Day. He would have celebrated his 112th birthday this week.
His first children’s book was inspired in 1936 by an ocean voyage that he and his wife took returning from Europe. The rhythm of the ship’s engines triggered the poem that became And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. According to Dr. Seuss, the book was rejected by between 20 and 43 publishers. He was walking home to burn the manuscript when an accidental encounter with an old Dartmouth classmate led to its publication by Vanguard Press. What a great writer success story!
Among his many awards, Dr. Seuss was given a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his “contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents.” In honor of his birthday, gathered here are a bouquet of quotes from his books. They show how a handful of simple words in the hands of a master writer can bring joy and fresh ideas to millions:
“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is
you-er than you!”
Happy Birthday to You! (1959)
If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn! The most wonderful stuff!” I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! (1978)
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
The Lorax (1971)
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1990)
What a joyful way to spend your time — penning one after another witty rhyme! Write on!