I’ll say it again while my tongue is not loose,
I did learn to read from the good Doctor Seuss!
Yes, this writer I have chosen to talk about today, this wunderful wubble of werfinsky cartoons and sniggly sayer of savantish snapoons, is, perhaps, the most important literary influence on my life. Back in the early 1960’s my parents bought a subscription to Dr. Seuss books that were written in simple, easy words… but the secret was always in the pictures and the sounds. Yes, the sounds. It’s the sounds that you see which will bollox the ear, and sear into your memory for many a year. Oh, and the rhymes… the rhymes make a memory for many old times. See if you can get that out of your head. I bet you can’t. The rhythm will make you remember instead.
The secret is how with picture and word the old master teaches you painlessly how to read. I loved Dr. Seuss as a child. I loved him even more when I was a teacher who often had to teach middle school and high school students belatedly how to read. I can’t tell you how many times I read Dr. Seuss books out loud while students looked at the words. I can’t tell you because it is such a big number that my old teacher-brain swells with the effort to remember and count. And it is not merely the reading skill you learn from this, especially the reading a book like Fox in Socks. Some time in the future when I regain a bit of health, I’ll have to show you on YouTube the tantalizing tongue training I went through with Fox in Socks.
You learn life lessons from Dr. Seuss. He not only made me a reader, he helped shape the sort of man I am.
The Lorax taught us about conservation of resources. The Sneetches teach us not to have foolish prejudices based on surface differences. He inspires us to be better than we are.
So here is the thing that I want to say,
If you read Dr. Seuss, there’s no better way,
To learn about life, and learn how to play,
And be the best you for all of your days.