It Took Dr. Seuss a Year to Write ‘The Cat in the Hat’—and It Changed Kids’ Lit Forever
The creator of the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Sam I Am, who would be celebrating his birthday today, taught generations that it is fun to have fun—but you have to know how.
For those of us who were early adopters of Dr. Seuss books, i.e., kids growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, it was not necessary to own them, because every other kid in the neighborhood always had some. They were just part of childhood’s décor.
Aunts and grandmothers may have plied us with the classics of children’s literature, but nothing in those books, if they were read at all, could compete with The Cat in the Hat or Horton Hears a Who or Green Eggs and Ham.
None of this was discussed, as I recall. There was no open ranking, no discussion in playgrounds or backyards, no “I prefer Seuss to A Child’s Garden of Verses.” That would have been like saying, “I prefer milkshakes to milk of magnesia.”