“The problem with writing a book in verse is, to be successful, it has to sound like you knocked it off on a rainy Friday afternoon. It has to sound easy. When you can do it, it helps tremendously because it's a thing that forces kids to read on. You have this unconsummated feeling if you stop.” – Dr. Seuss
Today is the 113th anniversary of the birth of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known around the globe and probably for all eternity as Dr. Seuss. Writer, cartoonist, animator, book publisher, and artist, his work includes several of the most popular children's books of all time and all-told (to date) they have been translated into more than 20 languages and sold over 600 million copies. You would be hard-pressed to say “Cat in the Hat” anywhere in the world and not get a positive reaction and smile.
Four of his books also have been wildly popular animated films, led by Cat in the Hat and How The Grinch Stole Christmas – also made into a live action movie. Those four films have now done gross box office sales of $1.2 billion – and counting.
While he thought his career would be in cartooning (he sold his first one to The Saturday Evening Post in 1927), it was his writing in verse, primarily for kids, that led to his worldwide success. “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living,” he once wrote. “It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.” He also noted, that “I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.”
“Don't cry because it's over,” Geisel advised shortly before his death from cancer in 1991. “Smile because it happened.“
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