Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born March 2, 1904. I often think of Dr. Seuss in relation to nature- the tufa towers of Mono Lake in California create a “Suesscape” and even the name “tufa” is very Seuss-like. Joshua trees are clearly something right out of a Dr. Seuss book, and so is the name of one of my all time favorite birds, the water ouzel.
Of the 44 children’s books he wrote, Dr. Seuss is probably best remembered for Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But he also is the father of the wonderful creature, the Lorax, who mysteriously appears to advocate for the trees and the creatures who depend on the trees, and clean air and water. The Lorax was published in 1971, so it’s the Lorax’s 40th birthday this year. But the story is every bit as relevant now as it was then.
The National Education Association honors Dr. Seuss’ birthday by celebrating Read Across America each year on March 2nd. It’s a day in which adults volunteer at libraries and schools across the nation, reading to kids. It’s a great way to honor this great man, but I hope even if you don’t have the opportunity to read to some kids on March 2nd, you’ll take a hike or stargaze or stop to admire a tree in honor of the man who gave us the Lorax and so many other beloved books. Additionally, Target stores nationwide are celebrating Read Across America early, with a free Dr. Seuss Storytime on Saturday, Februry 26, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
For more informaion on Read Across America and other Dr. Seuss-related information, visit Seussville, a site created by Random House, or link directly to The Lorax Project, a site dedicated to “educating children early on about doing their part to protect the environment.”
I’ll leave you with a few favorite quotes from The Lorax…
“ ‘I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.’ “
“ ‘They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!’ ”
“ ‘I am the Lorax, and I’ll yell and I’ll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!’ ”