Monday, September 24, 2007

"Gone with a Tip of His Hat."

Dr. Seuss died today at the age of 87. I have to admit, when the students bring in yet another Dr. Seuss book for me to read to the class, I moan slightly because my mouth gets tired by the time I reach the end! When they bring one in they want to read to the class, I know it is going to take longer than I would like for them to do so. His books go on and on. However, the children LOVE hearing the rhythms, patterns and word plays. They love the characters and wacky stories he masterfully wrote over his lifetime. For many these are the first books they learn to "read". I am amazed at the creativity and imagination of Dr. Seuss and read more about him over at Today in Literature.

They write, "...When Geisel was a student at Oxford, and banned by school regulations from driving a motorcycle, he tied dead ducks to his handlebars to pass his vehicle off as that of a poultry deliveryman. When living in New York City and finding himself with a telephone number one digit different from a local fish market, he would send his own cardboard fish to those who called him with their order. When trying to quit smoking in his fifties, he carried a corncob pipe empty of tobacco but full of dirt, in which he had planted radish seeds; he would suck on the pipe while riding the bus, stopping every now and then to take out an eyedropper of water and squeeze a few drops into the bowl. To anyone who took the bait he would explain that he was "Watering the radishes."

At the age of eighty, Geisel had his anti-nuclear war Butter Battle Book on the best-seller lists for months; at eighty-two, he published his last book, You're Only Old Once, and told reporters that "Age has no effect on me. I surf as much as I ever have. I climb Mount Everest as much as I ever have...."

". . . Then we saw him pick up
all the things that were down.
He picked up the cake,
and the rake, and the gown,
and the milk, and the strings,
and the books, and the dish,
and the fan, and the cup,
and the ship, and the fish.
And he put them away.
Then he said, "That is that."
And then he was gone
with a tip of his hat."

We miss you Dr. Seuss.

No comments: