10 Things You Didn't Know About Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's fun, zany and inspiring books have delighted children for decades. Find out more about this much-loved writer and illustrator below.

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1. He was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in March 1904.

He would adopt the pen-name 'Dr. Seuss' during his time at Dartmouth College, when - having been banned from writing for the university's humour magazine for drinking alcohol illegally - he began to write for the magazine under the pseudonym 'Seuss'. He added 'Dr.' because his father had wanted him to go into medicine.

2. The original pronunciation of 'Seuss' rhymes with 'voice' rather than 'moose'.

But Dr. Seuss adopted the new anglicised pronunciation because most people said it that way anyway.

3. After graduating from Dartmouth College in the US, Dr. Seuss attended Lincoln College, Oxford, intending to earn a PhD in English literature.

However, it was here that he met his future wife, Helen Palmer, who persuaded him to abandon his plans to become a teacher and instead go into illustration.

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4. Dr. Seuss's first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by dozens of publishers.

In fact, Dr. Seuss was going home to burn the manuscript when a chance encounter with an old acquaintance led to the publication of the story.

5. At the beginning of World War II, Dr. Seuss turned to political cartoons. He drew more than 400 cartoons over two years in his position as editorial cartoonist for the New York City newspaper, PM.

His cartoons tended to be highly critical of 'non-interventionists': those who did not want the US to become involved in the war.

6. The Cat in the Hat (1957) was written for beginner readers as an alternative to more traditional (and - Dr. Seuss believed - more boring) early reading books.

A director at the publishing company Houghton Mifflin asked Seuss to 'bring back a book children can't put down'. The result was the fantastically fun The Cat in the Hat, which achieved impressive international success and remains one of Dr. Seuss's most popular stories.

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7. Green Eggs and Ham, another of Seuss's 'beginner books', was the result of a bet between Dr. Seuss and his publisher, Bennett Cerf, that Seuss couldn't write a book using just 50 different words.

It's safe to say that Dr. Seuss won the bet; Green Eggs and Ham is now his most popular book, having sold more than 10 million copies. The story is filled with fun repetition and rhymes, including the famous line: 'I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.'

8. In 1956, Dr. Seuss was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Dartmouth College, finally justifying the 'Dr.' in his name.

He liked to joke that he was now 'Dr. Dr. Seuss'.

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9. Dr. Seuss won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his body of work, which has included more than 45 quirky, funny and poignant children's books.

His final book was Oh, the Places You'll Go! (1990), which features the well-known inspiring lines: 'You have brains in your head. / You have feet in your shoes. / You can steer yourself / any direction you choose.'

10. In September 1991, Dr. Seuss died of mouth cancer, aged 87.

In 2004, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  • ACCQH 4 years +
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    From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere. In this hilarious exploration of simple concepts such as colours, numbers and opposites, Dr. Seuss presents a crazy world of boxing Goxes and winking Yinks that drink pink ink! With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and ranked among the UK's top ten favourite children's authors, Seuss is firmly established as a global best-seller, with nearly half a billion books sold worldwide.
  • AHICE 4 years +
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    This fabulous compilation of four of Dr. Seuss' most wacky tales, packed with colourful zany pictures, rollicking rhyme and off-the-wall humour is guaranteed to make reading fun! Hop on Pop introduces readers to a range of simple rhyming words, all used in short, humorous sentences. The nonsense escalates in Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! as the reluctant Marvin is driven to bed by whatever means he can muster, be it on stilts, by mail, or even on lion's tail. Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! encourages readers to explore the fantasy world of their own imagination, offering a surreal combinations of things to think up. Finally, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!, featuring the famous Cat in the Hat, offers even more fun to be had by reading with Dr. Seuss!
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    The perfect gift -- five of Dr. Seuss' best-loved tales in one attractive book. A wonderful gift, featuring five of the hilarious classics that made Dr. Seuss one of the best-loved children's authors: The Cat in the Hat The Cat in the Hat Comes Back Green Eggs and Ham Fox in Socks How the Grinch Stole Christmas With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and ranking among the UK's top ten favourite children's authors, Seuss is firmly established as a global best-seller, with nearly half a billion books sold worldwide.
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    Dr Seuss's The Lorax features all the zany language, eccentric characters and bouncy rhyming verses of his well-loved favourites, The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, but it also has an important environmental message to convey.

    Even though The Lorax is 30 years old, it's a fresh and fantastic book that still resonates today. The animated film, starring Danny DeVito in the title role, brought the tale to a new generation and now they can enjoy it in its original form!
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    Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat in response to a plea to make first reading books for young children more entertaining and appealing to read. The madcap illustrations and wild exuberance of The Cat in the Hat verses certainly fit the brief, and this picture book version of the rhyming classic introduces the craziness to an even younger audience from 3+. If your youngster loves Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, then they will relish the silly madness of The Cat in the Hat.
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    The simple language, small vocabulary and irresistible rhymes of Green Eggs and Ham were created specifically to encourage beginner readers.

    The success of the book has spread far beyond the original brief, however, and not only is this great for inspiring young readers, it has accumulated a cult following bridging several generations, too. Buy this book and join in the fun.
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    In this hilarious book, the irrepressible Fox in Socks teaches a baffled Mr. Knox some of the slickest, quickest tongue-twisters in town. With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and ranked among the UK's top ten favourite children's authors, Seuss is firmly established as a global best-seller, with nearly half a billion books sold worldwide.
  • The Wonderful World of Dr Seuss Collection - 20 Books - Collection - 9780007823505 - Dr. Seuss
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    The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Horton Hears a Who... Dr. Seuss' creations are timeless and here you can read all of the stories starring this zany cast of characters for one unbelievable Book People price.

    With books full of crazy rhymes and weird and wonderful characters , this collection even contains some Dr. Seuss books you may not be familiar with just yet - making it all the more fun to read!

    Wild, wacky and energetic, you'll love reading these books almost as much as your children will enjoy listening to you read them. With 20 little hardbacks displayed in a box, this collection will inspire a lifelong love of quirky reads in your children.

    Please note each book size is 160 x 115mm
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    In this classic Seussian tale, the good doctor primes his readers against all the little mishaps and misadventures that can befall even the best of us -- from bang-ups and hang-ups to lurches and slumps -- encouraging us to take life in our stride! Now in picture book format. This title is perfect for reading with children and as a gift for any life-changing occasion such as graduation, changing or leaving school etc. With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and ranked among the UK's top ten favourite children's authors, Seuss is firmly established as a global best-seller, with nearly half a billion books sold worldwide.
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    Oh, the places you'll go when you grab your colouring pencils and start working your way through these pages as so...

    Dr. Seuss' iconic creations have delighted generations and this colouring book will provide hours of creative fun for fans of any age, whether you're 5 or 105.

    Some of the 45 intricate illustrations are more complex than others but they all have playful patterns and favourite characters from classic books including The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who.