And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
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Dr. Seuss’s first book was published in 1937 after being rejected by at least two dozen publishers; since then, Seuss’s books have sold more than two hundred million copies. The story of a young boy dreaming of what to tell his father he saw on a walk is a delightful ode to imagination and flights of fancy.
Hop on Pop
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The secret to the lure of Dr. Seuss’s books was that he departed from the boring Dick and Jane-style primers that were popular in the middle of the twentieth century and instead respected kids’ own innate creativity and imagination by writing witty, irreverent stories full of comedy and common sense.
The Cat in the Hat
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In 1954, an editor at Houghton Mifflin asked Seuss to write a compelling book using only the words in a first-grader’s vocabulary. The result was _The Cat in the Hat,_ the story of a mischievous cat and his friends Thing 1 and Thing 2, which has become a classic work of children’s literature.
Green Eggs and Ham
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After the success of The Cat in the Hat, a publisher wagered a bet that Seuss could not write a book using only 50 simple words. Green Eggs and Ham earned Seuss $50 from that bet.
Oh, Say Can You Say?
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Full of typical Seuss-ian characters and verbal prestidigitation, like “bed spreaders,” “Pinner Blinn,” and “Finney’s fine fresh fish,” this book of tongue twisters and word wizardry is a favorite for families to read together. Seuss’s customary use of nonsense words and fantastical animal characters became one of his trademarks.
Horton Hears a Who
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This 1954 book, which spawned several animated adaptations, as well as the Broadway musical _Seussical,_ was inspired by Seuss’s feelings about America’s occupation of Japan after World War II.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
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In one of America’s most beloved holiday tales, the stingy Grinch tries to ruin Christmas for the big-hearted Whos from Whoville, but he eventually learns the true meaning of Christmas and even carves the roast beast. The story has been adapted several times into animated and live-action versions, and “Grinch” has even become the most common slang term for anyone who pooh-poohs the holidays.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
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The last book published before Seuss’s death in 1990, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a moving and inspirational story about weathering the ups and downs of life. Because it has become a popular motivational gift for graduating students, the book still sells about three hundred thousand copies each year.
The Sneetches and Other Stories
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This collection of four stories features some of Seuss’s best-known and most-loved tales, all with encouraging morals. In “The Sneetches,” two warring factions of nearly identical animals hate each other over trivial cosmetic differences. In “The Zax,” two characters learn a hard lesson about what happens when you refuse to compromise. The story “Too Many Daves” features a woman who named all of her sons Dave and then lamented that she hadn’t gotten more creative. And in “What Was I Scared Of?” a boy learns that it’s silly to be afraid of the unknown.
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In Dr. Seuss’s most overtly political work, the Lorax “speaks for the trees” and tries to prevent unchecked greed from destroying the beauty of the natural world. Seuss had lifelong liberal political views, and this book is a thinly veiled plea for more preservation of the environment against rampant industrialization and pollution.