A Sensational ‘Seussentennial’!

Dr. Seuss turns 100 this month! The beloved children’s book author and illustrator, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Mass. He died in 1991.

"Seussentennial" celebrations are planned nationwide this month, including the National Education Association’s annual Read Across America, a year-long program designed to encourage a love of reading that culminates on Seuss’ birthday with a variety of activities in schools and community centers. (Check out for more information).

Even the U.S. Postal Service will join the festivities. A commemorative stamp depicting the good doctor and six of his most popular literary characters will be issued – when else? – on March 2.

Many children learned how to read with Seuss books. You’re probably familiar with such classics as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but here are some fun facts that you might not have known:

• Geisel attended college at Oxford, thinking he would become a professor. But his soon-to-be first wife suggested that he become an artist instead.

• He drew political cartoons and worked on short animated films for the Army during World War II.

• And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss’s first successful children’s book, was rejected 27 times before it was finally accepted for publication in 1937 by Vanguard Press.

• Random House founder and publisher Bennett Cerf once made a bet with Seuss that he could not write a book using 50 words or less. Seuss proved him wrong – with Green Eggs and Ham.

• Dr. Seuss’s works have won many honors, including an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize, two Emmys and three Caldecott Honor awards.

• Translated into 15 languages, his books have sold an estimated 222 million copies.

You and your children can get into the "Seussical" spirit and learn more about Dr. Seuss online at You’ll find games, cards, party suggestions and other resources on the Web site.

Elizabeth A. Allen