Thank You, Dr. Seuss
We had an all-Seuss theme at this week’s shelter read-aloud. March 2 had been declared Read-Across-America day in honor of the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the creator of some of the most beloved children’s books.
Volunteers and children alike had donned red-and-white stovepipe hats as we sat down to read on Thursday night. (The hats had been donated to The Reading Connection by the NEA.) I had somewhat forgotten the Cat-in-the-hat story, but the children knew exactly what would happen next. They knew the fish was the only sane character in the story. They knew about the tricks and the big red box containing Thing One and Thing Two. They knew just how far the cat would push things until the mother was almost in the front door. They knew how he would miraculously clean up all the mess in a way they had never quite been able to do it. I always liked the mother’s question to the boy and Sally about how they had spent their day.
We breezed through a handful of Seuss books, ending with The Lorax, a timely book that stirred up a hornet’s nest in the California logging industry when it appeared. It’s a warning about cutting down the last of the beautiful trees and destroying the environment. In honor of that last truffula seed, we planted marigolds and nasturtiums in little styrofoam cups, many of which may have ended up in the trash later as mothers dealt with yet another cup of dirt in their apartments.
We had a grab bag of Seuss books so each child could take home a story that rhymed and made their imaginations work overtime. Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for asking us to think outside the box. Everyone needs a Wocket in his pocket!
(Many thanks to my friend Gary, who came up with The Lorax-seed planting idea!)