“tasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield Massachusetts in 1904. He went to Dartmouth
College and Oxford University as an English Literature student. He started writing for the “Jack’o Lantern”
the Dartmouth College humor magazine, and gain much notoriety by writing with “Judge” magazine after
that (www.cyber-seuss.com).He worked as a cartoonist for almost a decade and then, in 1937, he wrote
and illustrated his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
The following is from a page I found on the Internet:
Long before the Obsks would make a casual appearance in “If I Ran the Zoo” their own story would be
told. This story comes from Ted’s life around the time he left Standard Oil in the 30’s while the depression
still held America in its grips. It was a 4 page illustrated novelette that was never published, and the text
went like this.
A flock of Obsks
From down in Nobsks
Hiked up to Bobsks
To look for Jobsks
Then back to Nobsks
With sighs and Sobsks…
There were, in Bobsks,
No jobs for Obsks.
Dr. Seuss was a genius, who did not only write his books for children. Many of his books have
morals that he was trying to get through to the adult who was reading the book, and at the same time instill
them in the child as they grow. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street is an example of this type of
book with morals for both adult and child. It is the story of a boy whose imagination is too strong for his
father’s liking. The boy is afraid to go home and tell his father what he thinks he saw on Mulberry Street,
in fear of what his father will say about the outrageous things that happened. Seuss was trying to show how
adults can stifle and kill a child’s imagination without even knowing they are doing it.
Dr. Seuss’s first book was an instant success and soon after came the books The King’s Stilts
(1939) and Horton Hatches the Egg (1940). During World War II, Geisel wrote films for the war effort.
One of these films, entitled Design for Death, a documentary about the Japanese people, won him an
Academy Award in 1947.
For several decades following Ted Geisel wrote many more children’s books, 40 books in all.
They include favorites as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the first grade reader The Cat in the Hat, and
Green Eggs and Ham. The Lorax, written in 1971, focused on environmental concerns such as air and
water pollution, and land waste. In 1984, he wrote The Butter Battle which revolved around nuclear war.
It seems that Ted Geisel was asked by a Dartmouth college classmate to come to Chicago for a
visit, and being promised a third honorary degree as a filip, Ted and his wife Helen went, only to find out
that he was scheduled to be the speaker at the commencement ceremonies. He only had a short time to put
together a speech, which lasted only 75 seconds, and was titled “My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating
My uncle ordered popovers
from the restaurant’s bill of fare.
And when there were served,
he regarded them
with a penetrating stare…
Then he spoke great Words of Wisdom
as he sat there in that chair!
“To eat these things,”
Said my uncle,
“You must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what solid…
You must spit out the air!”
As you partake of the world’s bill of fare,
That’s darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air
And be careful what you swallow.