Our featured author for March is Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss. He was born on March 2, 1904.
Before World War II, Dr. Seuss worked for 12 years drawing cartoons to sell insect spray. He also began to write stories for children. He would sign these stories “Seuss,” and the name Dr. Seuss was born. His first book was And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street. It was rejected by 27 publishers before it was published in 1937.
Dr. Seuss loved challenges. The Cat in the Hat was written using 220 words that beginning readers need to learn. Green Eggs and Ham was the result of a bet that Dr. Seuss couldn’t write a children’s book using only 50 words (it uses only 49 words).
Dr. Seuss won a number of awards for his word, including a Pulitzer Prize, three Academy Awards, two Emmy awards, and a Peabody award. The Theodore Seuss Geisel Award now honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of “the most distinguished contribution to beginning reader books published in the United States” during the preceding year.
Dr. Seuss loved to illustrate books, but he found that he had more story ideas than he could write and illustrate. The stories he wrote and illustrated are under the name “Dr. Seuss,” and those he wrote but were illustrated by someone else are under the name “Theo LeSieg.” “LeSeig” is Geisel spelled backwards.
Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991, but he lives on in his many wonderful books. For more information about Dr. Seuss, or to check out one of his books, please see the “Happy Birthday” display in the LMC.