And, of course — Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
We’ve said it many, many times, but today is one of our absolute favorite days of the year. Not only does it celebrate the joy and wonder of reading, but also one of the all time greats — Dr. Seuss! He so often brings magic to our classroom that we think he deserves months and months to show our gratitude — but we’re glad for the chance to celebrate today each year.
Read Across America was established in 1998 by the National Education Association to encourage children to get excited about reading. It’s presented as a bit of a game, a kind of competition with themselves to see how committed they can stay to the act of reading over the next 365 days. Since then, it has become incredibly successful, breeding new readers and welcoming back old readers with only one aim in mind: to open young minds and a good book.
Celebrating Read Across America Day on Dr. Seuss’s birthday is more than a little fitting. Dr. Seuss obviously understood the types of journeys books could create and emphasized the importance of opening up new worlds to readers young and old. And that’s what Read Across America is all about: dreaming big, thinking deep, and approaching art with open arms and hearts.
We thought today would be the perfect day to talk about some of our favorite, lesser known Seuss books. Almost all of his stories are classics, but his bibliography is extensive, to say the least — and some of these stories get pushed to the side when The Cat in the Hat is around! So, without further ado –
More Books He Wrote That Have Our Vote
(Dr. Seuss has nothing on us!)
Like most of Dr. Seuss’s stories, this book takes readers on a journey through imagination — but there’s a different tone. Here, we see adults telling a child he’s silly to believe in something they do not, and the boy forging ahead anyway. He uses that handy imagination and, of course, hijinx ensue.}
If I Ran the Circus
This is one of our favorites to read! Dr. Seuss is the master of rhyme, but this story takes that gift to a whole new level. The words come a mile a minute, and our little ones can’t stop giggling at the goofy, otherworldly creatures we meet.
Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!
“Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” This story gives little ones a bit of advice from Seuss himself — dream up the impossible, think outside the box, and create new worlds in your mind. There’s no limit to our imaginations… if only we try.
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
This one holds a special place in our hearts because it is Dr. Seuss’s very first book for children! It’s been in print for over 75 years, and continues to entice and engage little ones with that unmistakable Seussian flare.
I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew
Dr. Seuss often embeds his stories with deeper meaning, which is part of the reason they are beloved by readers of all ages. They can resonate with anyone, and this book is no different. It illustrates the importance of facing troubles, big and small, head on — and how running away from difficulties only makes them more difficult. It’s a message we all can take to heart.
To learn more about the Read Across America initiative, head to the National Education Association website.