Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? I have great memories reading Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat. There are so many books to choose from.  The man behind the books (Theodor Seuss Geisel ), wrote more then 60 of them. As one of the most popular children’s authors of all time, his books continue to top bestseller lists and are beloved by kids and adults alike. In fact, more than 222 million copies of Dr. Seuss’ books have been sold, and they’ve been translated into 15 different languages. That just blows my mind.

In honor what would be his 107th birthday, here are a few fun facts about the man most of us all grew up reading. (facts found at The Baltimore Sun)

1. Theodore Geisel began using the pen name “Seuss” after being banned from writing for his school, Dartmouth College. He started using his middle name to avoid getting caught. In case you’re wondering, why was banned, he’d thrown a “raucous” party during prohibition.

2. Geisel added the “Dr.” as a shout-out to his dad’s desire for him to get his doctorate at Oxford.

3. Dr. Seuss was never awarded the Caldecott or Newberry Medal (he was awarded a Caldecott honor, but never the medal).

4. He served as the commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit of the US Army Air Forces. During World War II, he worked as a left-wing political cartoonist; he designed posters for the Treasury Department and the War Production Board.
5. Dr. Seuss was inspired to write his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, while riding on a ship. The sound the ship’s engine made and the rhythm it had sparked his first work.

    Virginia and I celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday Saturday at Target. All the Target's nationwide had an event Saturday at the store where parents and kids gathered to listen to some Dr. Seuss books being read and enjoy some freebies. I wasn't sure if Virginia and I would make it since we both had been a little sick during the week. 

    But we woke up Saturday morning feeling great. So after some convincing, I got Virginia all ready and loaded up into the car. We were one of the first to the store and luckily saw one of my CentralPiedmontMommies friends Sandy and her girls heading into the store. It was a good thing we saw them because I would have never known where to go. We followed them back and the Target staff was still setting up for the event. 

    They had a small cardboard background of a Dr. Seuss scene set up back in the kid's clothes section. They cleared the space enough so the kids and parents could all sit down and listen to the stories. So Virginia and I found a spot on the carpet and waited for them to start. Some of the staff members started handing out small goodie bags. This was awesome, it was actually small reusable Target shopping bags. They had filled them up with some snacks, coupons, and Dr. Seuss fun facts. 

    Virginia thought this was the best thing on earth. I mean she got goldfish, fruit snacks, and juice early in the morning. So she was in heaven. Then the birthday cake was brought out. I could just see all the kid's eyes growing large and all the parent's mouths dropping. The event started at 9:30am so a little early for cake. But it was a special occasion so i didn't really care. 

    Once everything was set up, the staff told the kids a special guest had come to read to them. I was thinking oh great some body has dressed up as The Cat in the Hat. Virginia goes both ways with people dressed up as characters. Sometimes she loves them and sometimes she is deathly afraid of them. Luckily  as the older woman comes around dressed up in a The Cat in the Hat costume, I am sure left over from their Halloween stock. Virginia was all smiles. 

    The Cat in the Hat sat down and read a few books. Then they asked the kids if any of them wanted to read. I thought for sure it would be dead silence because what kid is going to be brave enough to read in front of a crowd of little kids and their parents. To my surprise Sandy's girls both raised their hands to volunteer. Her older daughter was picked and she got to sit in the chair and read. She did an amazing job and is a super reader. It was really cute watching the younger daughter sit at the girl's feet listening. This makes me want to have one more child just so Virginia can have a little sister or brother. 

    After some reading all the kids enjoyed a piece of cake and signed a big poster size birthday card. Then we all gathered together for a group picture that gets displayed in front of the store. I didn't think Virginia would go stand up front for the picture without me. But to my surprise she walked right up front without me and even held The Cat in the Hat's hand. She was smiling ear to ear. 

    I just can't get over how much my baby has grown up over the past year. She has gained so much more confidence and is slowly becoming less and less shy in public.  I can't wait to see how much she grows this year.