It’s been over 60 years since one of his first books, Horton Hears a Who, was published. Yet Theodor Seuss Geisel (or as he’s better known, Dr. Seuss) is still renowned as one of the best Children’s authors ever. And who can argue? His writing style, the illustrations, the use of rhyming and the characters he has created, are evidence of his brilliance. Countless Film and TV adaptations have been made, and with 16 of his titles in the Top 100 Children’s Hardback Books sold in the US, (even 27 years after his death!) it’s plain to see that his influence has been felt worldwide! His Books are timeless.
Growing up, I was read titles like Green Eggs and Ham and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Both of these titles can be classed as Phonics Readers. This basically means that the rhyming in the books is used to assist young children with learning to read. I still to this day remember the ramblings of the Grouch in Green Eggs and Ham; “I do not like Green Eggs and Ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-Am”. In my view, the reason these Phonics Readers help so much with learning to read, is due to the constant repetition that is encountered. The simplistic word patterns, linked with the illustrations allow for associations to be made with what the word looks like, and what it means.
One particular title of Dr. Seuss’ which I feel actually gives more to the Parent who’s reading it, rather than to the child, is Oh The Places You’ll Go. This story is about the trials and tribulations that all of us will go through in life. It shows us the different paths that may be taken, how to pick yourselves up when things get tough, and most importantly; that you are in control of your own future.
“You have Brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.”
The ways in which life lessons are laid out in the story are so light-hearted, that it doesn’t add any negative connotations. It instead provides us more with the adage of: Things will always get better! The funny illustrations and the creative rhyming allow Toddlers and Young Children to enjoy the story. But the message, which is less apparent to a young mind, allows the parent reading the story to get something else out of it.
The witty humour, creative language (Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz) and the fantastic illustrations all indicate how brilliant an author Dr Seuss is. The statistics on book sales speak for themselves. However the little messages that are left behind in his Tales, give Children the platform to learn important life lessons, early on in their lives! For Example: Horton Hears a Who is about accepting people of all shapes and sizes and The Lorax talks about the importance of caring for the environment.
A Fun Fact to end on: Dr Seuss was bet by his publisher that he couldn’t write a book using 50 words or less. He accepted this challenge, and ended up writing his highest-selling title out of all of them: Green Eggs and Ham!