Is the cat (as in Cat in the Hat) coming to town near you? Three Cat-a-Vans will start their tours today to promote Read Across America, the national celebration of Dr. Seuss’s March 2nd birthday.
It seems only fitting that the celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday involves reading. This is the man who is credited with writing the first books with a limited number of words that would actually stimulate beginning readers.
The first was the Cat in the Hat — now an emblem for Seuss’s creative genius later followed by my personal favorite of the beginner books is Green Eggs and Ham (both Random). This silly book — written with only 50 words, by the way — still makes me chuckle even after lots (and lots and lots) of readings.
It’s interesting that books with a purpose (these so-called easy readers), can motivate as well as provide success with so few words. I think it’s the outrageous humor and the pure silliness in both picture and word that captures readers. And so will the life of Dr. Seuss.
The biography of Theodor Geisel makes a great read aloud (or read alone). Katherine Krull’s picture book biography of the doctor, The Boy on Fairfield Street (Random House) presents a life that may inspire other young artists.
So, look for the Cat-a-Van in your area. And let’s celebrate Seuss and reading on March 2nd — and beyond — by reading across America!