On Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, Share the Gift of Reading

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! In lieu of a gift, please accept my thanks for instilling my love of reading when I was young. Your books were fun. Interesting. Beautifully illustrated. Mesmerizing. Intelligent. And the most dog-eared books in our house. I couldn’t put them down. Hop on Pop is still my favorite; followed closely by Dr. Seuss’s ABC. How else would I have learned that camels on the ceiling start with c, c, c? But I was a weird kid. I did my homework right after school – before play time and cartoons and without being told. You’re to blame for that; thank you.

When I graduated to middle school, so did my reading habits. I moved on to science fiction, fantasy, thrillers and comic books. I’d like to think I did that on my own, but it was because you sparked my imagination at an early age. Thanks!

I continued my love of reading through high school and college. Now there are 12 books waiting their turn on my nightstand — just because you whetted my appetite for reading with your Green Eggs and Ham. Thankful I am.

But the best thing you ever did for me, good Doctor, without ever meeting or knowing me, was passing along your love of the written word to my daughter. I can’t begin to tell you how many red fish and blue fish swam through her head. And Loraxes. And Whos. And Cats in Hats. And this-and-thats. Now all I can think of is, oh, the places she’ll go.

It’s your birthday, and you’re the one who gave us the gifts. Every year. The gift of reading. And all I can say is, ‘Thank you.’

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by gathering your kids and attending a Read Across America event at a bookstore near you. But be careful; you’ll be hooked on books for life (and you’ll love it).

– P.J. Butland