Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Theodore Geisel

If he were still alive, Theodore Geisel would be 105 today. Theodore Geisel, of course, being Dr. Seuss.

When I was a kid, I got on this “famous autograph” kick and one of my prized autographs was Mr. Geisels'. It is a piece of paper with a picture of the Cat in the Hat, a personal note and Dr. Seuss' signature, all in blue crayon. It is one of my most cherished items. I don’t know if it’s real or not, heck, anyone could have written it, but I like to think the man himself did.

In our house today, Dr. Seuss is very popular. One of our current favorites is Hop on Pop, lots of great rhyming words and cute pictures. We also enjoy the perennial favorite, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

One thing I recently discovered about Dr. Seuss is that he also wrote books under the name Theo. LeSieg. LeSieg is Geisel spelled backwards. He wrote these books and others illustrated them. Did you know that? Something else I learned is that Dr. Seuss was not a doctor. He went to Oxford intent on earning a PhD in literature. However, his future wife and Oxford student, Helen Palmer and his tutor, Dr. A. J. Carlyle both agreed that he was not suited to become a professor, but should fetter out his life as an illustrator and writer.

We’re glad he did. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

A few books about Dr. Seuss and his life:

The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel grew up to become Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss: American Icon

Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: a biography

You can also search the catalog for all of his books!

(photo from the Life Photo Archive. Facts from Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: a biography.)

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