A magical ‘Doctor’ remembered in prose

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Editor and Publisher

All across the River Parishes on Monday, adults took time out of their schedule to go to schools and read to students.

“Read Across America” is a program designed to celebrate the birthday of children’s author Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel. Giesel, who died in 1991, was born on March 2, 1904, and wrote more than 60 children’s books during his career.

Now, to maintain an emphasis on the importance of reading, Random House Publishers and the National Education Association partner with schools across the country to get adults to take time out to read to a classroom of youngsters.

Local schools participating included John L. Ory Elementary, Fifth Ward and LaPlace Elementary.

Retired teacher Linda Neal was one of the volunteer readers at Ory, bringing her own book and materials to share with Mrs. Croce’s kindergarten class.

“I love doing this,” Neal said as she was escorted to the classroom by a student guide.

According to the NEA website, Dr. Seuss epitomizes a love of children and learning. Also, his use of rhyme makes his books an effective tool for teaching young children the basic skills they need to be successful. When we celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading, we send a clear message to America’s children that reading is fun and important.

As one of the most popular children’s authors of all time, Geisel’s books have topped many bestseller lists and have sold over 222 million copies.

In 2000, Publishers Weekly compiled a list of the best-selling children’s books of all time and, of the top 100 hardcover books, 16 were written by Geisel, including Green Eggs and Ham, at No. 4, The Cat in the Hat, at No. 9, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, at No. 13.