Friday, March 04, 2011

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!)


Blogger lacochran's evil twin said...

Dr. Seuss was/is magical!

10:02 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

The Lorax has always been my favorite. We celebrated Read Across America Day as well, but the irony of showing Seuss videos all day long was lost on our administration... I will suggest the seed planting idea next year. It would be far better than watching an hour and a half of loud, raucous video at the end of the day!

8:13 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

When I first started teaching deaf and hard of hearing students I lost interest in Dr. Seuss because of the rhyming. The nonsense words and rhythm didn't translate well into American Sign Language. But over the years I have fallen in love again. My favorite is The Lorax (how powerful is "Unless") but this week we also read The Sneeches and The Zax. The children were so entranced by the stories, it was impressive.

Glad the seeds worked out but I hope they see the light of day and avoid the trash.

12:12 PM  

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