“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” Such were the sentiments of Dr. Seuss, whose 111th birthday will be celebrated on March 2, which will also mark the 17th annual Read Across America Day.
Put on by the National Education Association, Read Across America Day is an annual reading awareness day where people in communities come together to honor reading. Students and teachers across the country spend the day celebrating reading, books and, of course, the life and rhymes of Dr. Seuss. The celebration has always been held on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and this year the book of the hour will be the Seuss classic, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.” While originally written for children, this book has touched the lives of many teenagers and adults, and is often given as a high school graduation gift. “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” holds a message that rings true for many generations, not just children.
In fact, many of Seuss’ books have touched the lives of adults just as much as children. Seuss never had children of his own, yet he wrote and illustrated more than 60 children’s books. Seuss, whose birth name was Theodor Geisel, was an advertising cartoonist before he began writing. Seuss claims that he began writing children’s books because he couldn’t write any other books under his cartooning contract. “I would like to say I went into children’s book writing because of my great understanding of children. I went in because it wasn’t excluded by my Standard Oil contract,” Seuss said. It is rumored, however, that his first book was written shortly after his first wife found out that she could not have children. Whatever the reason for his writing, there is no disputing the fact that Seuss has touched the lives of thousands of people of all ages.
Brittney Urich is a senior professional writing major specializing in marketing and public relations. She is an avid traveler, sports enthusiast, and animal lover. When she’s not blogging or reading, she can usually be found outside.