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Read Across America 2014

by Miriam Downey 4. March 2014 07:59

This week is Read Across America week with yesterday, March 3, as Read Across America Day. The Cat in the Hat is the official deliverer of the good news of books to children all over the country. I laugh now when I think about how much my children loved Dr. Seuss books and how much I groaned when one of the children picked up their favorite Dr. Seuss story for bedtime reading. Now, I rejoice every time my youngest grandchild picks up One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish--his current favorite--and brings it to me to read to him. We cuddle on the couch and are soon caught up in silliness.

Many of Dr. Seuss's books can be found on the Internet, and there are entire websites dedicated to his books. Many of them include lesson plans, coloring pages, puzzles and other activities to go with the books. Additionally, there are a lot of YouTube videos that read Dr. Seuss books to children. I've included a list of websites with Dr Seuss activities at the end of the post.

Dr. Seuss's real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel. He was an advertising and political cartoonist who stumbled into writing children's books when he was hired to illustrate a book. Although the book was not successful, the illustrations received a lot of praise. So, Geisel decided to write a book on his own. His first published book was And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. After that success, a book editor bet him that he couldn't write a book using 225 basic vocabulary words that all new readers would know. The Cat in the Hat did just that. It used all 225 words and only those 225 words.

And thus the magic of Dr. Seuss books. The earliest readers can read them, and they are loved because of the rhymes, quirky characters, and the life lessons that they teach. So, even though parents can groan (like I did) when a child brings Green Eggs and Ham to read for the 100th time, you can be happy that you are helping your child learn language and reading.

Here is a list of a dozen Dr. Seuss books that every child should read at least once. But believe me, for most children, once is not enough.

Green Eggs and Ham

On! The Places You'll Go

The Cat in the Hat

The Lorax

Horton Hears a Who

Horton Hatches the Egg

The Sneetches

Hop on Pop

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Ten Apples Up on Top

Fox in Socks

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

 

 

Websites

The official Dr. Seuss website

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That from PBS

A list of quotes from Dr. Seuss books

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