Dr. Seuss was a man who created MAGIC through words and rhymes.
March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991 an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children’s books He published 46 children's books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter. His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat and the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Horton Hears a Who, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish. Numerous adaptations of his work have been created, including 11 television specials, three feature films, a Broadway musical and four television series.
Seuss is often asked why he decided to write for children, since he and his wife Helen never had any children of their own. His simple answer was, “You make’em. I’ll amuse ‘em.” While he and his wife did not have, he is said to have often boasted to friends about their imaginary daughter, Chrysanthemum Pearl. He even dedicated his second book to her, listing her age as 89 months going on 90. He is even said to have included her name on Christmas cards, along with Norval, Wally, Wickersham, Miggles, Boo-Boo, Thnud, and other purely fictional children. Seuss was a child at heart.
Even though writing did not start off successfully for Seuss, he continued undeterred. His books have always been unique. And the author has always remained true to himself. The majority of Seuss’ books have a moral lesson within them. Seuss wrote many activist children’s books in which he expresses his thoughts on many various forms of social injustice occurring in the world.
Dr. Seuss was alive during WWI and II. Many things from these two important war torn eras influenced his writing. This can be seen particularly in Yertle the Turtle and Horton Hears a Who. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” a rhymed lesson in protection of minorities and their rights Seuss believed that children reading these books, even the “smallest of all,” can speak out and make a difference.
Beyond the moral stories, the main reason Dr. Seuss is so memorable and successful is because of his rhyme. Geisel wrote most of his books in anapestic tetrameter. Anapestic tetrameter consists of four rhythmic units, anapests, each composed of two weak beats followed by one strong beat; often, the first weak syllable is omitted, or an additional weak syllable is added at the end. An example of this meter can be found in Geisel's "Yertle the Turtle: "And today the Great Yertle, that Marvelous he Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see." The consistency of his meter was one of his hallmarks and the thing which makes him so hard to imitate.
Though critical scholars of poetry might consider Seuss to be nothing more than fluff, he is without a doubt a powerful poet. He is one of few to have actually changed the English language by developing words of his own. Did you know the word “nerd” first appeared in Seuss’ If I Ran the Zoo? He’s known for being innovative and creating entire worlds of his own. He also created never-before heard of animals and plants.
Geisel was often asked where he got his ideas. In truth he usually said, “I don’t know. They are a mystery to me too.” However, he admits that two of his most famous characters are based off of himself: the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat. His editor Michael Firth once remarked, “…(Geisel) is someone who delighted in the chaos of life, who delighted in the seeming insanity of the world around him.”
Seuss wrote books that make people think and imagine. He invented entirely new alphabets because, as the narrator in On Beyond Zebra explains: In the places I go there are things that I see That I never could spell if I stopped with Z. I’m telling you this ‘cause you’re one of my friends. My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends. In inviting readers to think outside the box and create a new alphabet, Seuss suggests that the imagination can lead to discoveries that are literally beyond known words.