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If Dr. Seuss Looked at Obama: Oh, the Things He’d See!

March 5th, 2010 1 comment

Babe HuggettBABE HUGGETT: In celebration of the National Association of Education’s yearly “Read Across America” project, which started Tuesday, March 2, First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at the Library of Congress and read to a select group of youngsters Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s story, The Cat In the Hat. Her choice was appropriate enough considering that Tuesday also marked the good doctor’s birthday, who would have been 106 if still alive.

Obama's Version of Cat In the HatThe Cat In the Hat was written by Dr. Seuss, (pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel), in 1957 as a response to a challenge by the Life magazine writer, John Hershey, who specifically mentioned Geisel as an ideal illustrator for modern children’s books in a May 25, 1954 article titled “Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading”. Geisel’s publisher, Random House, asked him to write a new style of engaging children’s literature using a limited vocabulary of only 400 words, which the publisher’s estimated school children were learning at the time. Geisel cut the suggested list down to 223 and added 16 of his own.

Using the pseudonym of “Dr. Seuss”, Geisel’s The Cat In the Hat proved an instant hit and the story of the two rainy day bored young children first enjoying then panicking over the crazy, chaotic antics of a floppy red-and-white stripped hat wearing tuxedo Cat accompanied by his eagerly undisciplined partners-in-crime, Thing One and Thing Two still resonates with young readers 53 years later. Read more…

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