As I sat here trying to figure out why my throat hurt I remembered that I had just read a Dr. Seuss book to my daughter’s kindergarten classmates at least three times. The kids were excited this morning to have a little change of pace with silly stories, wonderful wild creatures, sundry activities and capped off my a Truffula Tree cupcake. They read The Lorax in class on Monday. We were supposed to do all of this yesterday, but freezing rain ended up getting school canceled.
The book they assigned me to read was If I Ran the Circus. Little Morris McGurk sets his mind upon the idea of cleaning up the lot behind Mr. Sneelock’s ramshackle store, in a half-hour no less, and setting up the most fantastical circus the world – or anywhere else – has ever seen. We read about how he would no doubt convince old Mr. Sneelock to help out with a few “small odds and ends” which eventually turns into Mr. Sneelock becoming the daringest daredevil and star of the show. All the while Morris is convinced Sneelock won’t mind one bit being trainer, acrobat, procurer, sales person, et al for Circus McGurkus.
When I read his stories I often wonder what it would be like to be inside the head of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). I can barely imagine the depth and the breadth of the jungles, creatures, zoos, contraptions and conundrums he would dream up. And to think, there was a great possibility we would never have gotten to know and love the fanciful excess of Dr. Seuss’ freakish fantasies. “In 1936, while the couple was returning from an ocean voyage to Europe, the rhythm of the ship’s engines inspired the poem that became his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Based on Geisel’s varied accounts, the book was rejected by between 20 and 43 publishers. According to Geisel, he was walking home to burn the manuscript when a chance encounter with an old Dartmouth classmate led to its publication by Vanguard Press. Geisel wrote four more books before the US entered World War II. This included The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins in 1938 as well as The King’s Stilts and The Seven Lady Godivas in 1939, all of which were, atypically for him, in prose. This was followed by Horton Hatches the Egg in 1940, in which Geisel returned to the use of poetry.” source: Wikipedia
Today he is honored in the United States with National Read Across America Day sponsored by the National Education Association which is held on his birth date, March 2.
What have you read to your kids today?