I have a confession to make. I don’t like Dr. Seuss books.
Or, at least, I thought I didn’t.
What reasons did I give to the people I’ve told this to? I didn’t like his illustrations. I didn’t like all the words he made up. I thought his stories dragged. Hollywood turned me off by their mediocre movie adaptations.
Yet, I’m quite fond of giving his books away as gifts, especially “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!” And “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” is one of my most favorite books ever– even choosing it as one of the most influential books in my life.
When I tell people I don’t like his books, they’re quite surprised considering that I want to be a children’s book writer. Wouldn’t I want my books to last as long as his has? Wouldn’t I want my stories to be remembered and cherished from generation to generation?
He is one of those people who has left such an enormous impact in our culture and the world of literature (not just children’s) that it’s almost impossible to imagine growing up without some sort of Seussical exposure. The (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award is given to authors and illustrators for the most distinguished books for beginning readers. His birthday is celebrated by holding an annual literacy awareness event- Read Across America.
I decided that even though (I thought) I didn’t like his books that I would at least read all his books and learn from them. How did they become fixtures of children’s bookshelves the world over? What was it about his stories and the way he wrote them that made them such classics? And, so another reading challenge was born!
In fact, it was during this reading challenge that I realized I was wrong. I liked his books. The illustrations were fine. The stories were enjoyable.
I’m getting what the big deal is all about.
What are your favorite Dr. Seuss books? Were you like me and didn’t like his books but now you actually do? Or, do you still not like them?