Tag Archives: children’s books

The Cat in the Hat Published

cat in the hatOn March 12, 1957, children’s story The Cat in the Hat was first published. The story, penned by Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, follows an anthropomorphic cat who wears a red and white hat and a bow tie.

The creation of this famous children’s tale began when William Spaulding, then the director of Houghton Mifflin’s educational division, saw a Life magazine article in 1954 written by John Hersey. The article was called  ”Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading,” and covered a topic that was a major concern of the time – why children couldn’t read. The conclusion of the article was that most children were bored of the story most used to teach children to read at the time – Dick and Jane. In the article, Spaulding suggested that Dr. Seuss write a new book for children to take interest in. Spaulding was intrigued by the idea and issued it to Dr. Seuss as a challenge.

thing1thing2This challenge spurred Dr. Seuss to write The Cat in the Hat, which went on to become a huge success. Dr. Seuss had achieved considerable fame as a children’s author before this, but The Cat in the Hat put him on the map and made Dr. Seuss a household name. The Cat in the Hat was Seuss’s 13th book, and has since become his most prolific.

The storyline of The Cat in the Hat follows an anthropomorphic cat in a large red and white top hat to the home of two children on a rainy day when their mother is out of the house. The cat brings with him two mischief-making friends named Thing One and Thing Two. The three try to impress the children with their various tricks bringing energy and exuberance into the house on what would’ve been a dreary day. Along with this excitement comes some chaos. The children’s articulate goldfish is vehemently opposed to the behavior of the cat and his friends. The children eventually get things under control, and the cat cleans up the mess he’s made in the house and disappears mere seconds before the children’s mother returns home.

This famous children’s story is not only praised for engaging children and making them want to read, but also is praised from a literary standpoint for its incredible feats in writing. The entire story follows a strict triple meter, keeps a tiny vocabulary that is easily understood by children, and weaves an intriguing tale that doesn’t bore its readers. The story only uses 223 different words, with 33 of these words only occurring twice, and 54 only once.

The Cat in the Hat is the 9th bestselling hardcover children’s book of all time and sold over 7.2 million copies in the United States alone.

Sources: Wikipedia, PBS, Seussipedia, NPR

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Mother Goose Day

May 1 is Mother Goose Day!

Mother Goose is a make-believe author of scores of fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and is a fabled figure that has been around for centuries. In actuality, Mother Goose has been several different authors transposed across different periods of time, and most stories attributed to Mother Goose have been passed down orally and in “folklore fashion.”

Mother Goose Day was founded in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar in the midst of the release of her book Mother Goose: From Nursery to Literature. This holiday offers a day to fully appreciate the nursery rhymes we were told as children and share them with a new generation.

Celebrate Mother Goose Day by reading your favorite Mother Goose nursery rhymes, putting on a play of a popular fairy tale, or doing Mother Goose related arts and crafts.

Sources: Holiday Insights, Library Support

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Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!

American children’s book author and poet, Dr. Seuss was born Theodore Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. While attending college at Dartmouth, Geisel got in trouble for drinking in his dorm and was forced to resign from all his extracurricular activities. Not ready to give up his position at Dartmouth’s humor magazine, the Jack-O-Lantern, he began signing the pen name Seuss and continued contributing.

Over the length of his career, Dr. Seuss wrote 46 children’s books, the most popular of which are Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

– Dr. Seuss

Check out all of the Dr. Suess items we have for sale!

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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National Winnie the Pooh Day

January 18 is National Winnie the Pooh Day!

National Winnie the Pooh Day celebrates the birth of A.A. Milne, author of children’s storybooks and Winnie the Pooh creator.  You might recall some of Winnie the Pooh’s friends: Christopher Robin, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore.

Celebrate National Winnie the Pooh Day by reading one of A.A. Milne’s books to yourself or with a child.  Take a lesson from some of Pooh’s philosophies and cherish your friendships and relationships as he would have.

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh 

Check out our Winnie the Pooh Baby’s 1st Year Undated Wall Calendar, perfect for documenting all those great moments as a new parent.

Sources: Ultimate Holiday Site, Holiday Insights

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