I wish I could be the next Dr. Seuss.
Probably not what you were expecting, but it’s true. The man was rather a literary genius. You may think he wrote books for children, but really, they were adult books disguised by colorful pictures.
Think about it. He touched on so many themes, wrapping up lessons in lilting rhymes so adults would actually hear them and kids would remember. Like…
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” (Happy Birthday to You!)
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!)
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!)
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” (The Lorax)
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” (Horton Hears a Who)
“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.” (Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz)
“Be grateful you’re not in the forest in France, where the average young person just hasn’t a chance, to escape from the perilous pants-eating plants. But your pants are safe, you’re a fortunate guy. You ought to be shouting ‘How lucky am I?’” (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?)
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!” (Oh the Thinks You Can Think!)
“My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz. It’s the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz. You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond ‘Z’ and start poking around!” (On Beyond Zebra)
I’m sure I missed other great ones (dude had a lot to say!) so my apologies for that. But there was one Dr. Seuss quote I found with which I must disagree: “If I were invited to a dinner party with my characters, I wouldn’t show up.”
Gents and ladies, if my characters invited me to dinner, I would most certainly show up. In fact, I’d bring dessert. Because…
I can tell you for sure,
I know it’s true,
not a one would say
“Oh chocolate won’t do.”
For if I know one thing
(or possibly two)
it’s that they like chocolate.
The best people do.
Sorry, had to have my Dr. Seuss moment there. The poet in me just took over (as she sometimes does). And I’m completely enamored with the thought of meeting my characters (in a setting outside my mind). There’s not a chance in the world I’d pass up on that opportunity. People are fascinating. Especially the fictional ones.
In any case, Dr. Seuss had a way with words and lessons and intertwining the two. If I could have a one-hundredth of his talent and influence, I’d… well… I’m struggling to imagine it.
Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for teaching me about the power of words and the art of entertainment.