Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh, The Places He Went!

If you know Dr. Seuss only as author of fanciful children's books, there is a fascinating Theodor Seuss Geisel still waiting to be discovered. What an incredible man, and what an incredible career. All this and more may be found in Charles D. Cohen's book, The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing But the Seuss. Most of the information here is from this book.

It is fitting that Dr. Seuss' experiences over a long and productive career culminated with him writing books for children. He had achieved notoriety, fame, and influence long before he started writing for children.

He could have gone in any direction he wanted. He chose children's books and in so doing sent the message:

  • Learning is important
  • Children are important
  • Children are the great hope of the future
  • Children's intellectual capacity is far greater than adults give them credit for
He saw the affect of the pre-World War II educational systems in Germany and Japan on an entire generation of children and considered it a crime. It's a terrible thing to suppress a mind.

Ironically, it was an experience in Salt Lake City, Utah (I'm from Utah) that helped him solidify his thinking on the ability of children to learn and understand information. He realized that if presented in the right way children are capable a grasping a wide variety of knowledge. He understood that it was more important for a book to be entertaining than it was to present every fact relating to a topic.

At 390 pages, this book truly explores The Seuss, The whole Seuss, and Nothing But the Seuss.

In our day, all information is moving onto the internet. How that information is presented will make all the difference. Share and play nice.

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