By David McGuire
Today marks the 114th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. Around the world, millions will celebrate this birthday. Dr. Seuss was more than an author. He was a movement. It could probably be argued that nearly every American learned to read using Dr. Seuss’s books. For over 75 years, Dr. Seuss’s books have inspired and encouraged readers. It was the unique artistic style and voice that made his books some of the most successful selling books of all time. He was a master of wordplay and rhyme and his imagination took readers on a magical and unforgettable ride. Dr. Seuss is an author of 60 books. His books have been turned into movies and TV classics and have impacted and influenced literacy all over this country. On his birthday, we celebrate Dr. Seuss. Below, I have shared my top ten Dr. Seuss books:
1. Oh, the Places You’ll Go
This graduation top seller was given to me after I graduated from high school and after I graduated college. It is one of my favorite books of all time mainly for its inspiration about the struggles and successes of life. It was the final book he published before his death.
2. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
I think this is one of the best introductory books that Dr. Seuss created. I enjoyed this book for its simple language and its rhymes.
3. The Cat in the Hat
This book is about a rainy and boring day for children stuck in the house. That rainy and boring day later turns into a time filled with adventure and fun.
4. Green Eggs and Ham
This book is arguably the most popular Dr. Seuss book. There is a story this book was written off a bet. The bet was that Seuss couldn’t write a book using 50 words or less. It is safe to say he won the bet and wrote one of the most successful and popular children’s books of all time.
5. Hop on Pop
This popular early children’s book is used to support readers in the early stages with basic phonics and concepts. It is a collection of short poems with the subtitle “The Simplest Seuss for Youngest Use”
6. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
This was Seuss’ first children book. It was the first book published under his pen name Dr. Seuss. The book was originally rejected by over 15 publishers before it was finally picked up. He wrote the book while on vacation with his wife.
7. The Lorax
It is well known that while Dr. Seuss was alive, he rejected the idea of his books becoming movies. The Lorax was a motion feature picture in 2012 and was a television feature in 1972. It was centered on the theme of greed. It was believed this was Seuss’s favorite book.
8. Fox in Socks
This book was published in 1965 and has a similar resemblance to Green Eggs and Ham. The book features two main characters a Fox and Knox. The Knox has difficulty throughout the book following along with the Fox’s densely rhyming tongue-twisting words until the end of the story.
9. Dr. Seuss’s ABC
This children book should be a required text in all kindergarten classrooms. This book introduces children to the basics of the alphabet through short poems and characters.
10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This was another popular Dr. Seuss’s book turned movie. It is a must read during the Christmas holiday and must watch movie and television special as well. The book was written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss and published in 1957. The book is about a Grinch, who hates Christmas and steals all Christmas themed items from a town called Whoville. Eventually, at the end of the story, the residence of Whoville convince the Grinch there is more to Christmas than gifts under the tree.
Despite the controversy surrounding Dr. Seuss’ earlier work as a cartoonist, it is impossible to ignore the impact his stories has had on literacy. Celebrate his legacy by reading one of his books today.