The Story of Dr. Seuss
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Getting Inspired to Read
When I was in elementary school, my best friend’s name was Annie. Annie came from a mormon family, her dad was the president of the Mormon Church. And Annie and I were a lot alike. Now, despite having very similar personalities and similar activities – we both played flute in the school band and sang in the choir – her family and home life was very different from mine.
Annie was one of six kids and her family was much more musical, and they consumed way more vegetables, than anyone I’d ever met.
Her family also didn’t have a TV. At nighttime, Annie and her brothers and sisters would sit down and read. In fact, I remember having to fill out reading logs for school, and those were sort of documents where we had to track how much we read per week. And her mom always signed off on Annie having read 4 to 5 hours a week. She signed off on it. In other words, she confirmed that Annie had read 4 to 5 hours. I used to compare her reading log to my own, I’d only read about one and a half to two hours in a week.
We were about ten years old at the time, and I can’t remember whether I was jealous of her accomplished reading log or just impressed by it, maybe a little of both. The point is, I’ll never forget how fast she finished long chapter books. She’d store the majority of them on her bookshelves and bookshelves were everywhere! They were in her living room, the entryway, the hallway. The first time I went in her house, I remember thinking, this looks like that scene from Beauty and the Beast, where Beauty (Belle) discovers the castle library.
Anyway, if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re a learner. Perhaps you’re an avid reader like Annie. Hats off to you if you are. Reading is such a healthy skill, to be able to pause the real world and immerse oneself into the magic of a story, and it also gets the imagination working.
For a kid to experience that from a young age, well, that’s an incredible gift. As an adult, or as someone who can read, it’s sort of a gift we can give to someone. We can inspire others to read, we can share the skill of reading as well.
So how can we make kids fall in love with reading?
Well, Annie might say, first of all, get rid of your TV, which is unrealistic for a lot of us.
I’d say a good start is introduce kids to good books. And what better author to introduce than Theodore Geisel. Theodore Geisel was an American author, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, and his classic rhyming children’s books fill the bookshelves of many family homes across the US. You may know him already, he’s responsible for How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and even Green Eggs and Ham.
"I do not like green eggs and ham,I do not like them, Sam-I-am!"
Today you’ll hear all about Dr. Seuss, and if I’m honest, I’m a little bit disappointed in myself that it took 140 episodes to share his story. Better late than never, though, let’s do this.
Here is the story of Dr. Seuss.
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