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Springfield Museums, Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
March 6, 2021
It’s fun to have fun and we’ll show you how at the Springfield Museums Celebration of the 117th Birthday of Dr. Seuss. Springfield native Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss was born March 2, 1904.
The Springfield Museums present Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! A month-long celebration of Springfield-native Theodor Seuss Geisel, the author who revolutionized learning to read by making it fun!
Beep and Greet, Saturday, March 6, from 1-5 pm
From the social distance of your car, wave to your favorite Seussian characters—The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and the Grinch: We hope everyone will wear a funny hat to wave at the Cat in the Hat as they say hello! The Beep and Greet will take place in the parking lot adjacent to the Welcome Center. All cars must be in line by 4:15.
Free and open to the public
Capping off the celebration is “31 Books for 31 Days: Hats Off to Reading Book Giveaway.” In order to be included in this random-drawing giveaway, visitors must share a message to the Museums about the book they read that day and/or their favorite Dr. Seuss Book. They can enter in person by dropping their entry into the Book Giveaway box or via social media (tag @SpringfieldMuseums) for daily random drawings. This reading celebration is presented along with the Springfield Library’s Reading Success by Grade 4 program. One book per family.
We’re celebrating the children’s author and Springfield native who revolutionized learning to read by making it fun!
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Please note that while the birthday activities will be open to all visitors, timed tickets for the Dr. Seuss Museum will sell out fast–order advance tickets today!
Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, wanted to engage children in reading that was exciting and fun, not like the old Dick and Jane primers most teachers in the 1950s used to teach reading to children. In order to create a new and better early reader, Geisel considered a list of words for beginning readers. After some contemplation, he decided to begin his story with the first two words that rhymed: “cat” and “hat.” The rest is history. Although The Cat in the Hat (1957) didn’t at first find favor with teachers—the cat was too mischievous, too zany—children loved it. Some said the book sold by “playground word of mouth” as children told other children how wonderful the page-turner was. In other words, Dr. Seuss revolutionized learning to read by making it FUN!
The Cat in the Hat also found acclaim with book reviewers. In 1957 New York Times writer Ellen Lewis Buell was impressed by the simple vocabulary and lively illustrations. “Beginning readers and parents who have been helping them through the dreary activities of Dick and Jane and other primer characters are due for a happy surprise,” she wrote.
The Cat in the Hat sold more than a million copies by its third year of publication and remains to this day among the top sellers for children’s books. Many of Dr. Seuss’s books remain on best seller lists, notably Green Eggs and Ham (1960); One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960); Dr.Seuss’s ABC (1963); and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! ( 1990).