“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
As I read to my grandkids I found myself drifting waaaaay back in time, way way back.
How many of you, like me, were drawn into Dr. Seuss’s magical wacky worlds as a new reader?
GO DOG GO !!!, HOP on POP! , FOX in SOX, One fish two fish, red fish blue fish, The Cat in the Hat
Many of us also took an adventure trip to WHOville as we read Horton Hears a WHO ! and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
I bet you can even quote a page or two from your favorite Dr. Seuss book.
Go ahead give it a try. Wake up the sleeping child inside your mind. Besides laughter will brighten any day.
I laughed so hard as my tongue got all twisted as I recalled a few like zither zuther zoo or seeheweme.
Who cares if the words don’t appear to make any sense they make reading fun AND…
“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.” Dr. Seuss
At the time of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss) death in 1991, his 46 children’s books had sold over 200 million copies. They have been translated in 20 languages including Braille. To date, twenty-three years after his death, over 600 million copies of his books have been sold.
Apparently the brain cells have been woken up given this real evidence that his legacy of inspiring new readers lives on at an increasing rate.
QUESTION: What if Dr. Seuss had given up after 28 rejection letters? Bought into what “THEY SAY”?
Dr. Seuss books were originally considered too outlandish to appeal to children. Now I find that thought hilarious given it was a group of adults deciding what beginner readers would like.
His first book And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (1937) was rejected by 28 publishers before Random House picked it up. Former Random House President Bennett Cert once remarked, “ I’ve published any number of great writers, from William Faulkner to John O’Hara, but there’s only one genius on my authors list. His name is Ted Geisel.”
Not only would his genius as an illustrator and author have been missed by generations, we would have missed a great role model who had the COURAGE to believe in his own gifts and talents more than what “THEY SAY”, to write outside the box, to creatively unlock the imagination of children and to even expand our vocabulary.
The American Heritage Dictionary in fact credits Dr. Seuss as the originator of the word nerd, which made its first appearance in his 1950 book, If I Ran the Zoo: “And then just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo And Bring Back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo a Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!”
THINK: about the magnitude of impact Ted’s great work will continue to have because he decided to go where only his talents could take us. He penned a few books and then…. the rest becomes history.
With all of his creative genius Ted writes in his final book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in 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.”
You are totally resourced with your imagination, your talent, your abilities, all you have to do is decide.
QUESTION: Where are you deciding to go?
Dr. Seuss warns the reader of The Waiting Place…where everyone is just waiting…
“NO! That’s not for you. Somehow you will escape.”
QUESTION: What are you waiting for before you become all you were created for?
Wait no more.
Ted had spent his life building a relationship with each of us through his books. He had taught us to have fun through reading, he inspired us to adopt some of his rhythmical prose and to be silly instead of taking life too seriously. He earned our trust and in his last published words he issues the following final charge:
“You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting. So . . . get on your way!”