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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Over 100 but still young

March 4, 2011

This 1984 Pulitzer Prize winner authored more than 40 books. Three of these books were Caldecott Honors. His work has been made into award-winning movies and videos, inspired memorable music, and has become synonymous with childhood.

And because of his lasting contribution — creating books that engage and delight readers of all ages (and especially for what he did for emerging and newly independent readers) — this author/illustrator now has an award named in his honor.

He died in 1991 but the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel — whose notable birthday was just celebrated across the country — is as fresh as if it had been published this year.

Dr. Seuss will forever have a special place in my heart. I saw how his silly brand of humor in rhyme and pictures delighted even those with not much book experience.

I got to see how Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham (Random) helped connect an incarcerated mother and her child. As Arlethia shared this book with her daughter, the 6-year old moved closer and closer to her mom until she was sitting in her lap, both laughing and pointing to the pictures. Seuss' downright absurdity helped bond this parent and her child, allowing them to overcome distance, time, and lengthy separation.

So Happy 107th Birthday, Dr. Seuss! May your legacy continue to delight generations of children and adults!

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"Reading is not optional." —

Walter Dean Myers