Reading is one of my favorite past times. Whether delving into a great novel, or reading aloud to children, I love books!
Dr. Seuss Children's Books are Timeless
The number of children's books being published each year seems to be rapidly increasing. The youth sections of bookstores are hardly able to keep up with the volume of works being produced annually - some by very talented authors and illustrators. However, if you are going to leave some room on your bookshelf for the very best children's books, your collection will not be complete without at least three or four selections from the popular works of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.
This beloved children's author and illustrator started publishing books in 1937, with the release of And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street. Overall, he published 44 books, including several works that appeal to young adults and children. Dr. Seuss is known for his creative, outlandish creatures, and sing-song rhyming writing style. Its astounding that, despite the world-wide popularity of Dr. Seuss's works, he never won a literary award.
Dr. Seuss started his career as an editorial cartoonist in the early 1920s. Once he turned to writing and illustrating children's books in the late 1930s, he published several books before World War II. He took a brief hiatus during the war, and returned to publishing books for children in the late 1940s. The majority of his works were published over an approximately 25 year period, through the 1960s.
About Dr. Seuss and his Writing Style
Dr. Seuss was instrumental in the cause of childhood illiteracy.
In 1954, he responded to a report of the issue in Life magazine and set about publishing Beginner Books that would be easy to read. The most famous of these works include "The Cat in the Hat " and "Green Eggs and Ham ." Green Eggs and Ham is said to have only 50 different words in the entire book.
Dr. Seuss's writing style is more complex than it might appear to the average reader.
The majority of his works were written in anapestic tetrameter, which is a rhythmic composition of two weak beats followed by a strong beat. This is best illustrated by a line from "If I Ran the Circus ." In ALL the whole TOWN the most WONderful SPOT. Seuss's successful use of the meter thwarted would-be imitators who could not effectively write in this constrained manner.
Dr. Seuss also used trochaic tetrameter (strong, weak, strong, weak beats) and iambic tetrameter, which is generally the reverse of trochaic tetrameter (weak, strong, weak, strong beats). Re-read some of his works out loud and you'll discover and enjoy his creative genius.
Dr. Suess The Sneetches
Dr. Seuss Inspires Read Across America
To memorialize Dr. Seuss's passing in 1991, schools in the United States hold an annual event called Read Across America. Each spring, reading festivals, contests and book sales are held to encourage reading to and with young children.
The fight against illiteracy continues in Dr. Seuss's honor. On March 2, 2004, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative on the 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's birth.
Although he never had children of his own, Dr. Seuss successfully drew many young readers to his books. Of course, a number of these popular works have been made into videos, and a few into full-length studio releases.
There is even a Broadway production of "Suessical the Musical"! I still maintain that the best way to enjoy Dr. Seuss is to pick up a hard back edition of one of his books, and read the enchanting stories aloud.
In no particular order, these are my top choices of Dr. Seuss books:
- The Cat in the Hat
- Green Eggs and Ham
- The Lorax
- Oh, the Places You'll Go!
- Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose
- Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
- Horton Hatches an Egg
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
- Sneetches and Other Stories
- Did I Ever Tell you How Lucky You Are?
I selected these works for a variety of reasons: ease of reading (for young children), amusing illustrations, ear-whig rhymes (the ones that you cannot get out of your head) and enduring social messages.
Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham
Dr. Suess Books are Classics
Dr. Seuss's works will likely endure as classics over the years, with the stories and characters being handed down from generation to generation.
You can read them here or there, and you can read them anywhere!
Pick up your favorite story tonight and sit down to enjoy it once again. I'll bet you have a Dr. Seuss book somewhere in your home!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Stephanie Marshall
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 05, 2012:
Hi Sunbun - I think a Dr. Seuss party sounds terrific for your son. Take lots of photographs so we can enjoy them in your hub! Cheers, Steph
sunbun143 from Los Angeles, CA on March 04, 2012:
A belated happy birthday to Dr. Seuss!! My toddler loves these books, especially ABC and Fox in Socks. I suspect he'll grow to love the more advanced Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham soon enough, as will his baby brother. I was thinking of doing a Dr. Seuss bday party theme + hub about it....oh the places we'll go!
Old Student on February 25, 2012:
Nice posting. I have to present a topic "artfully" for a PhD class in Education and opted to try the Seuss style. This was a big help. Thanks.
Perty on February 06, 2012:
That really brought back the memories
Donna Cosmato from USA on November 05, 2011:
Great review and wonderful biographical material on this stellar author. Voted up!
twoseven from Madison, Wisconsin on August 26, 2011:
Great hub! I had completely forgotten about 'did i ever tell you how lucky you are?' and now I'm going to have to go find it for my son! He's still most into 'green eggs and ham' because there's a train in it :)
living2well from Southern California on July 18, 2011:
I use to read these books when I was a kid. Now I read them to my own boys.
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on November 28, 2010:
LOL - thanks! ;-)
epigramman on November 28, 2010:
..gotta always return to the greats ..... I didn't mean dear Dr. Seuss - I meant you!!!!!!!!!!
salt from australia on November 22, 2010:
I have just found your hub and had just published one myself - similar, but slightly different. You talk about Dr Seuss from a different perspective from me. Your photos are wonderful and I love green eggs and ham you see!
Ron on September 06, 2010:
Dr. Seuss books are real fun for grown-ups as well.
I read them at times,
And they're really fun stuff.
But strange things you start writing,
If you read them enough!
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on August 11, 2010:
Much appreciation John - Going to go check out your hub on classic fairy tale stories. You're right.... Dr. Seuss rocks!
John B Badd from Saint Louis, MO on August 10, 2010:
Great Hub, I am linking you from my Classic Fairy Tale Stories hub. Dr Seuss rocks :)
Rick Zimmerman from Northeast Ohio on June 06, 2010:
steph — We've had a complete collection of Seuss ever since our daughter was an infant. You might also like the books of Maurice Sendak, Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein (all rhymes & whimsy & fantasy, with great illustrations). In fact, I've modeled my hubs on The Cactoose and The Whopper Spaniel somewhat on them. Since you're into real estate, law and environmentalism, you might want to sample any of my 67+ hubs on sustainable design, green architecture and architectural litigation. Regards, RickZ
Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on June 01, 2010:
I read them all to my sons... but I can remember way back-- I was still a child-- and became fascinated with one of his early works: "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins."
I think one of my favorites was "If I Ran the Circus"(The Circus McGurkis)
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on June 01, 2010:
It was the dog story, "Go Dogs, Go!" (love that one too)
Kim Harris on May 31, 2010:
Thanks I enjoyed this. I have been trying to think which Dr Seuss book had the "hello" and "good-bye" in it as the characters passed each other. I seem to recall funny hats as part of the story. Anyone remember?
Joy56 on May 25, 2010:
my grandson has converted me to these books. We went on the ride at disney recently a journey through one of the books, it was a wonderful experienience.
epigramman on May 24, 2010:
I understand them (Dr. Seuss) more now than when I was younger - both it's a wisdom and wit for both young and old alike!
This is a world class hub - then again - all of your hubs are world class!
green eggs and ham on May 20, 2010:
I love greens eggs and ham
alex on March 09, 2010:
hey i have a 3 year old borther that likes the book called the foot book i have to read it to him ever day thanks have a great day bye
alexzandra on March 09, 2010:
i have a borther that likes the books the best one he likes is the foot book
cameciob on March 08, 2010:
great Hub. My daughter is in kindergarten and they just started learning about Dr. Seuess. One day she read me the whole Green eggs and ham...all day long. I just couldn't stop her! We shell try The cat in the hat next.
me on October 22, 2009:
It doesn't say he used iambic PENTAMETER. it says TETRAMETER. these are two different meters. pentamer has a total of 10 syllables per line. tetrameter has eight.
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on August 27, 2009:
Ah yes, the Star-bellied Sneetches! I'm going to go check out your hub right now. Dr. Seuess is the best. :)
dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on August 27, 2009:
I wrote a hub on "The Sneetches" about a month ago! I had no idea that you wrote a hub about Dr. Seuss until now. He's one of my favorite authors as his contribution to children's literature is paramount. Thank you for sharing this, Steph!
ryan0257 from Sydney, Australia on March 14, 2009:
I love Dr seuess books, I have about 25-30 odd without actually physically counting them right now. They are wonderful to read out loud in a class room and I use drums with the children to keep beat with me as I read them. They are turely classics and will be for a long time to come. My favourite has always been "Green eggs and ham" wonderful books great hub ^^.
joi10101 on January 19, 2009:
lesbos are cool
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 24, 2008:
Hi Bruce - I am a huge Dr. Seuess fan too! So glad that you found this hub helpful! All the best, and some Green Eggs and Ham, as well - Steph
Bruce Elkin from Victoria, BC Canada on October 24, 2008:
Wow! I love it. I've read a few Dr. Seuss books to other people's kids, and watched the Grinch on TV at Christmas, but … Until one of my clients (an Indie film-maker, and TV kids cartoon creator) turned me on to Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel. Now I'm hooked. And your hub has put all the resources I've been looking for at my finger tip. And more! Thanks!
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on May 29, 2008:
wannabwestern, you are lucky! keep those books - they are worth a lot. Yes, iambic pentameter is the same meter used by those "classic" authors. Dr. Seuss was a genuis.
Carolyn Augustine from Iowa on May 28, 2008:
Great hub! I used to have some really nice illustrated books about Dr. Seuss in his Flit period. His advertisements were almost as amusing as his stories! I don't remember the title, though...Interesting stuff about the use of iambic pentameter and tetrameter. Isn't iambic pentameter the same meter used to write Shakespeare's and Browning's sonnets?
krisee on April 15, 2008:
i LOVE DR.SEUSS HES BEEN MY FAV SiNCE i WAS YOUNGER MY FAVORiTE BOOK WAS THE FOOT BOOK BY HiM iT WAS THE VERY FiRST BOOK THAT i HAVE EVER READ AND UNDERSTOOD.....TO YOU DR.SEUSS.......
MommyMandy from The South on March 28, 2008:
Love Dr. Suess!!
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 14, 2008:
Oh yes! Yertle the Turtle! I love that one too. Just reading your comment makes me want to go pick up the book and read it again. Of course, I wonder how the Horton Hears a Who movie will be in the theatre. But the classics are best read, in my opinion.
Gregory S Williams from California on March 14, 2008:
My very favorite books to read to my kids. One more classic though that deserves mentioning:
On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond,Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond. A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.The turtles had everything turtles might need.And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.
Gotta love it!
seamus on March 06, 2008:
Perfect hub topic! Dr. Seuss wrote some of my favorite books.
singpec476 from Not Too Far Away on March 05, 2008:
Hi steph great hub who could not love Dr Seuss, even as adults the impact is still strong.
BRAIN on March 03, 2008:
LOVE BOOK TOTA
Jeanette on March 03, 2008:
I love Dr. Seuss!!! Great job!
Leslie on March 03, 2008:
Awesome Hub! Love it!
elisabeth reid from Colorado on March 03, 2008:
Absolutely OUTSTANDING hub...great job! What a treat!
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 03, 2008:
You got lucky, Ripplemaker! What a treat. Oh, and by the way everyone: TODAY is Read Across America day! Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss!
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 03, 2008:
We have Dr. Seuss books in our mini-library. It's kind of expensive to buy it from the bookstore. But a person approached us and sold us 20 books at a much lower price. They were from the US and were "donated." The fee was to cover the freight. It was heaven sent. :-)
Peter M. Lopez from Sweetwater, TX on February 27, 2008:
Some of my favorite books are still Suess books.
Manoharan from Bangalore - 560097, Karnataka, India on February 25, 2008:
oh great hub
In The Doghouse from California on February 25, 2008:
I love Dr. Suess!! Great HUB.
Bob Ewing from New Brunswick on February 25, 2008:
Dr. Suess a long time favourite, great hub.
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on February 25, 2008:
Thank you Amy Jane - it was so fun to write this up. That's a really cute nickname for your husband!
amy jane from Connecticut on February 25, 2008:
Great hub, Steph! I love Suess and so do my kids. My personal favorite is "What Was i Afraid of?" But we call it "The Green Pants Story." One of my daughters loves "The Sneetches" and has it memorized. She has nick named my husband the-fix-it-up-chappy :)
Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on February 25, 2008:
Of course, Olive! Just make yours different than mine. Sorry!!! :-)
Olive S. on February 25, 2008:
* whimper* Stttteeeeeeph, I was doing a dr. suess hub. =( *whimper, lies on the ground and has a temper trantum* Do you think it is okay? I have a list of dr. suess books and tell a little about him. Dr Suess. is it okay you think? great hub by the way