Celebrating Read Across America Day – Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

HTCpixTCR 1612 -2[originally published 03/02/2012 in my now-defunct blog, “The Reading Corner”]

Today is one of my mom’s favorite days to teach – she’s still at it with first-graders.  Just as I thank her for sharing her love for Richmond history with me, I really thank her for throwing books my way long before I could talk. Legend has it in my family that before I was 15 months old or so, my grandfather handed me a newspaper – upside down – and I promptly turned it around to sound out some of the words on the page. I do remember him calling me “Cambodia” as a child, as that was one word I’d clearly read on my own. (Yes, during the Vietnam War.) I also remember pretty much taking books away from my mom when she read to me at night, so I could read myself to sleep. By then, I was probably about three. Years later, I felt guilty for taking such a potential parental pleasure away from her.

This morning, my mom happily brought my daughter one of her “Cat in the Hat” hats to wear to school today.  In fact, it was my daughter’s idea to wear it. My mom – lover of all things eccentric – was the natural choice to comply. (Needless to say, she also provided my daughter with her leopard cowboy hat for Wacky Hat day at school yesterday, but as usual, I digress…)

As she got dressed, oddly enough without a hitch today, she grabbed one of her Dr. Seuss books, Horton Hatches the Egg, and briefly thumbed through it. [My favorite Dr. Seuss book is HortonHortonWho Hears a Who.] Well, bargaining for time was an issue, so she turned on the old “Green Eggs and Ham” cartoon on YouTube. (Here it is for a nice memory lane treat, by the way.) It helped to set her the mind to enjoy this day at school: to celebrate the fun of words as Dr. Seuss did for me, my son, and daughter. They’ve got a couple of reading activities planned there today. One of my son’s favorite books is still Are You My Mother?  by P.D. Eastman – which is a part of the Dr. Seuss “I Can Read It All By Myself” series. He remembers me reading it to him over and over again as a toddler before he finally did read it back to me. From that cute little story, there are many he still loves, although – and I feel like I’m biting on a rock as I say this – he’s currently not the fan of reading books as I’d like. (Arrgh!) I pray one day it’ll hit him the way it did his kid sister and me. At twenty, there’s still plenty of time for God to answer…

So as we celebrate reading with our kids today, celebrate it for ourselves too. On Twitter, there’s a wonderful hashtag that I love participating in and following each week: #FridayReads. Using that, I share what I’m reading, get into nice dialogue with others, and learn about new and other books folks are reading. But my most favorite online reading log is Goodreads. I’ve logged what I’ve read over the years. Many still pop up in my mind and I quickly note them as they do. My to-be-read (TBR) pile gets longer; I regularly strive to grab each book there, only to add more! Then, there’s the ability to share what I’m currently reading, too. Again, a great opportunity to meet fellow bibliophiles, discover new books and to share reviews and thoughts.

Thanks to the NEA for Read Across America Day! My mom (the local representative for her school), my kids, and I thank you!

I think I’ll go read Are You My Mother? to my son today…



6 thoughts on “Celebrating Read Across America Day – Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

  1. Thanks for re-sharing this post. My boys love Dr. Seuss, although they have now moved on to Captain Underpants, Super Diaper Babies and DC Comics chapter books. They both own and will sometimes go back to reading their Dr. Seuss books (they each own two). My oldest has The Cat in the Hat and Oh the Thinks You Can Think. And my youngest has Green Eggs and Ham and Oh Say Can You Say terrible tongue twisters.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, I still don’t get how Captain Underpants is actually banned in some schools. My boys love it and my eldest love reading the book to his younger brother. Just as long they don’t step outside in just their underpants and cape, I’m good.


      2. Exactly! Ha ha!! But, it was one of the first books my son seemed to get into on his own. That was a major feat. It was at his school library, which is great because it wouldn’t have been on my radar. :-/

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He picked up the book from the library on his own. He just loved the cover and now whenever we go to the library, he has to pick up a new Captain Underpants or Super Diaper Baby book. He even made and illustrated his first Super Diaper fan fiction trilogy. I’m so proud, excuse me while I shed a tear.

        Liked by 1 person

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