"Oh, the things you can find, if you don't stay behind," from On Beyond Zebra demonstrates the forward-thinking mindset of Dr. Seuss. Born Theodore Geisel Seuss, Dr. Seuss combined Henry Ford-like ingenuity with Walt Disney-like imagination to create enlightening and engaging educational material most often disguised as entertainment.
Inspired by the rhyming songs his mother made up each night at bedtime in Springfield, Massachusetts, Theodore (Ted) incorporated aspects of Springfield into his early works. He used his gift of wit and light humor to write well-received pieces for Judge, Life, Liberty, and even Vanity Fair magazines.
The Cat in the Hat, arguably one of the most well known Dr. Seuss' classics, came as a result of a report from Life magazine which reported an increasing number of illiterate children. When the publisher gave Ted Geisel his first assignment with an educational focus, Dr. Seuss rose to the occasion and developed a whimsical story about some colorful characters comprised of specific words deemed by the publisher to be necessary for a good grasp of the English language. Dr. Seuss felt a special sense of satisfaction from the assignment and focused the majority of his future works on inspiring children to read and think.
From The Foot Book, which emphasizes small, rhyming words that form the building blocks of vocabulary; to Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, which illustrates the gift of hearing; to The King's Stilts, which focused on problem-solving skills; to even The Lorax, which focused on the dark side of greed, Dr. Seuss books are guaranteed to offer a refreshing dose of entertainment, along with a subtle side order of education.
Dr. Theodore Geisel Seuss was a gifted man whose works have yet to be surpassed twenty years after his death and fifty years after their creation.