by Robert Wilkinson
Today is the birthday of a man who has helped more kids to learn to read than any other, the remarkable Ted Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss.
While most associate him with “children’s books,” actually he was an outspoken political commenter. From Wikipedia:
Though Geisel made a point of not beginning the writing of his stories with a moral in mind, stating that "kids can see a moral coming a mile off," he was not against writing about issues; he said that "there's an inherent moral in any story,” and he remarked that he was "subversive as hell.”
Many of Geisel's books express his views on a remarkable variety of social and political issues: The Lorax (1971), about environmentalism and anti-consumerism; The Sneetches (1961), about racial equality; The Butter Battle Book (1984), about the arms race; Yertle the Turtle (1958), about Hitler and anti-authoritarianism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), criticizing the materialism and consumerism of the Christmas season; and Horton Hears a Who! (1950), about anti-isolationism and internationalism.
Besides these amazing works, think of this run of timeless favorites: The Cat in the Hat. Green Eggs and Ham. On Beyond Zebra. And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. If I Ran the Zoo. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Oh the Thinks You Can Think. Hop on Pop. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (and the list goes on and on and on….)
So in the spirit of his birthday, here’s a treat! Read by John Lithgow, here’s 6 minutes of pure gold!
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
All the words are here: "Oh The Places You’ll Go"
And in the spirit of Seuss, an offering to you!
I hope that you’ll like it, I hope that you do!
All his great words are here so you’ll read
of how to appear and how to succeed
at whatever you choose to learn and to use
as you fly on your way across vistas and views.
Taking of course, the wisdom of Seuss,
you’ll dance and you’ll sing as you fly with the Goose
symbolizing your Soul as it rocks and it rolls
across miles and smiles and troubles with trolls
Taking heart in your knowledge, and enjoying the lengths
of the friendships you know that will show you your strengths
and what’s valuable, precious, worthwhile and fun
as you sail across time - Yes your journey’s begun!
(With all great thanks and respect to one who helped me learn to read – and rhyme! - almost 60 years ago.)
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson