Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Happy Birthday, Theodor Geisel!
A few years ago on PBS I saw a wonderful special of Dr. Seuss' life as he went from Theodor Geisel boy illustrator to one of the most well-known children's book writers and illustrators in the world. Theodor did a stint making cartoons for the military during World War II, he talks of a American propaganda cartoon he did of Japanese soldiers that was a racist caricature and he regretted immensely ever drawing that cartoon. His life was complex and complicated and he was a complex and complicated man. He was very withdrawn and sometimes sullen, he could also be very selfish. In the 50s and 60s his writing career really took off and he started to write more children's books and during the late 60s and 70s his children's books tackled some of life's more complicated issues like war, environmental concerns, and racism. The odd thing about Theodor though was he was very uncomfortable around children and found it hard to relate to them and never had any children of his own. Which I found astonishing, a man that wrote books that changed children's lives and the way they saw the world couldn't enjoy the company of his greatest admirers. He was wonderful, talented, and supremely complex man and that makes his books even more great to read. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss your books made my childhood an absolute joy and I thank you for that. Here's a link to one of the best sketches ever on Saturday Night Live, Jesse Jackson reads Green Eggs and Ham. Classic.
What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?