The Cat in the Hat.
Green Eggs and Ham.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
For many of us, the words ‘Dr Seuss’ are sure to conjure up images of cats wearing hats, oddly coloured food and matching Things 1 and 2! But did you know that it was not creativity, but Seuss’s resilience – and a bit of luck! – that enabled his unique stories to be read for decades to come?
In honour of Dr Seuss Day, we thought we’d have a look at his inspirational story, and share a few ideas for celebrating the day! Dr Seuss was born on the 2nd March, which is now recognised as Dr Seuss Day. In honour of his incredible contribution to children’s literature, we look at the many reasons why we should be celebrating this day.
What inspired Dr Seuss to start writing?
Inspired by the repetitive sounds of a boat’s engines, Theodor Geisel jotted down a basic story about a horse and a wagon – the basis of the story And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street that he went on to write. He approached twenty-seven different publishers with his story and was rejected each time.
After the last rejection, Dr Seuss walked home, planning to burn the book and the drawings. He happened to bump into an old classmate, Mike McClintock, who asked what he was carrying. When he mentioned that it was a book that nobody would publish and that he was planning on burning it, his friend mentioned that he had just that morning been made the editor of children’s books at a publishing house.
Mike McClintock invited Dr Seuss up to his office and his publisher bought the book that same day. People loved Dr Seuss’ books and he kept writing and illustrating. Later, he was asked to write a book which could be used as an educational tool to introduce children to common words.
He was given a list of about 350 words that all six-year-olds ought to know, and was told that he had to write his story using just those words. He found it very frustrating and decided he would base his story on the first two words which rhymed.
Those words were ‘cat’ and ‘hat’. As soon as The Cat in the Hat was published in 1957, it was immediately loved. Even now, over 60 years later, it is still an incredibly popular book and has been turned into a television series and film.
Write your own story based on Dr Seuss!
If you’re feeling inspired by Dr Seuss, why not have a go at writing your own Cat in the Hat? We’ve included the first 100 high frequency words and the next 200 from http://www.highfrequencywords.org/.
To create your own Dr Seuss-inspired story, follow these steps:
- Grab some different coloured highlighters and highlight the words which rhyme.
- Use some of the other words to make a noun phrase or an expanded noun phrase (add some description to your rhyming words).
- Have a go at creating a story!
- If you’re feeling up for a challenge, why not try clapping out a pattern and seeing if you can write your story with that pattern?