Famed children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904. Now, 115 years later, his birthday is celebrated as National Read Across America Day, a reading initiative through the National Education Association. Many schools and libraries will celebrate with special Dr. Seuss themed activities this month.
Dr. Seuss wrote more than 60 books for children during his lifetime, 44 of which he also illustrated. His unique stories have been enjoyed by children since the 1930s and his works remain among the most popular children’s books to this day.
Did you know?
- Dr. Seuss’s real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.
- Geisel had no children of his own.
- Dr. Seuss was not a doctor and did not have a doctorate degree.
- Before becoming a popular children’s author, Geisel worked as a cartoonist in the advertising field.
- Geisel wrote under several pen names including Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and Rosetta Stone.
- His first published children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was printed in 1937. He received 27 rejections before finding a publisher for the book.
- His last book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, was published in 1990, the year before his death.
- Several of Geisel’s books were published after his death including Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, Daisy-Head Mayzie and My Many Colored Days.
There’s no better way to celebrate National Read Across America Day, than to grab a book and read with your child! In the words of Dr. Seuss, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
Whether you have a brand new baby or school aged children at home, encourage a love of reading in your child with these five tips:
- Bond with books. It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Reading aloud to your baby can be a special time of cuddling and bonding that your little one will associate with closeness and fun.
- Read aloud. Reading aloud is not only important for babies and toddlers, but for school aged children as well. Reading aloud is a great way to spend quality time with your child and can be a special part of your family’s daily routine. If your child can read, take turns—read a few pages or a chapter to him and them listen to him read to you.
- Use technology. Utilizing technology can also be a good way to motivate your child to read. There are plenty of ebooks to enjoy, many of which can be accessed for free through your local library. Listening to audiobooks in the car can also be a good way to pass the time during a long drive.
- Let them choose. Visit your local library and encourage your child to choose books that interest him or her. Even if it’s not your favorite book, the power of choice can encourage reluctant readers to be more excited about books.
- Think outside the book. There are lots of things to read other than books. Encourage your child to read magazines, newspapers, cookbooks, comics, menus, catalogs, street signs, cereal boxes and more.