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Dr Seuss- The Great American Children

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Dr Seuss- The Great American Children’s Poet Essay, Research Paper

Dr. Seuss:

The Great American Children?s Poet

Dr. Seuss is the pseudonym for Theodor Seuss Geisel III, Ted Geisel to

his friends. He originally thought of his pen name being pronounced zo-oice

which is the German pronunciation. He took his middle name from his

mother?s maiden name.

He was born in 1904 to Theodor Jr. and Henrietta Geisel of Springfiel

Massachusetts. Both sets of grandparents were from Germany. Theodor Jr.

was a wealthy brewer and tavern owner until the Prohibition. Then he

worked as the manager of the Springfield Zoo. Ted also had an older sister

named Marnie. He went to college at Dartmouth and graduate school at

Oxford. While at Dartmouth he got into a bit of trouble when the police

arrested him for drinking. (This was during the Prohibition.) As punishment

he was kicked off the school magazine, The Jack O?Lantern, to which he

contributed as a cartoonist. To get around the rule he began to sign his work

as Dr. Seuss. And that is why Ted Geisel became Dr. Seuss. While at Oxford

he met his first wife Helen Palmer to whom he was married for 40 years until

her death. They moved to New York. While in New York he worked drawing

cartoon advertisments for Flit, an insect repellant. It was he who coined the

phrase ?Quick Henry, the Flit? which was to 1930s advertising what ?Just

Do It? is to 1990s advertising. Sort of.

They later moved to La Jolla, California where Ted lived for the rest of

his life. They loved children although they were unable to have any of their

own. About five years after Helem?s death he married Audrey Stone. He died

in 1991 in his sleep at the age of 87. He wrote 57 books spanning seven

decadesfrom 1939?s And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street to 1992?s

posthumously published Daisy-Head Maizy.

He received a special Pulitzer Prize recognizing his contribution to

children?s literatur. He also received an Emmy for The Grinch Who Stole

Christmas and an Oscar for his screenplay for Gerald McBoing-Boing which

Chuck Jones (of Looney Tunes fame) animated.

Dr. Seuss completely revolutionized the field of children?s beginner

books. Before Dr. Seuss the books were of the See Dick. See Dick run. type.

With the Cat In The Hat all that changed by creating a fun, interesting story

that a young reader could read.

Ted Geisel also ran the publishing company Beginner Books (a

division of Random House). He thus was the publisher of many of his own

books. Beginner Books also fostered several other children?s writers, most

notably Stan and Jan Berenstain, creators of the Berenstain Bears. Ted had so

many demands with running the publishing company that he felt some of his

writings were not up to par. These he published under two different

pseudonyms, Rosetta Stone. and Theo. Le Seig (Geisel spelled backwards).

He did not illustrate these himself but rather let other people do that.

Why did Dr. Seuss write. For many reasons. He loved children and

wanted to entertain them and instill in them a love for reading. He wanted to

tell the stories inside him as only he could with his beautiful illustrations and

nonsense words. But perhaps the most important reason was he loved writing

the almost musical rhymes that a generation of Americans grew up with more

than he loved to do anything else.

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