You may know that Dr. Seuss is the world’s best-selling children’s author, having sold over 650 million books worldwide, but did you also know these weird and wonderful facts…?
1. Dr. Seuss wasn’t really a doctor. His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel. As a magazine cartoonist, he began signing his work under the mock-scholarly title of “Dr. Theophrastus Seuss” in 1927. He shortened that to “Dr. Seuss” in 1928.
2. In 1954, Life Magazine published an article on illiteracy in school children, concluding that children weren’t learning to read because their books were boring. In response, Dr. Seuss’ editor challenged him to write a book using 250 of the words children use most. So was born The Cat in the Hat, which actually only uses 236!
3. His next challenge was to use only 50 words – the resulting book was Green Eggs and Ham.
4. He coined the term NERD, which first appeared in his book If I Ran The Zoo
5. He won three Academy Awards, one for an animated short and two for documentary features.
6. 1 in 4 American children receive Dr. Seuss as their first book.
7. Dr. Seuss’ first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by publishers 27 times.
8. When Dr. Seuss suffered from writer’s block, he would go to a secret closet filled with hats and wear them until he found inspiration
9. Dr. Seuss went to Oxford University but never completed his degree.
10. One of the trademarks of his artwork is ‘no straight lines’.
11. The correct pronunciation of Seuss rhymes with ‘Voice’ – Soice – but readers naturally read it as Soose, and so it was changed.
12. Dr. Seuss drove a car with a GRINCH licence plate.
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More about Dr. Seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel – better known to millions of his fans as Dr. Seuss – was born the son of a brewer and park superintendent in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1904. After studying at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, and later at Oxford University in England (where he met his first wife Helen Palmer), he became a magazine humorist and cartoonist, and an advertising man. He soon turned his many talents to writing children`s books, and his first book ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street‘ was published in 1937.
His greatest claim to fame was the one and only ‘The Cat in the Hat’, published in 1957, the first of a hugely successful range of early learning books collectively known as Beginner Books. In all Dr. Seuss wrote more than 40 children’s books during a career that spanned over 50 years, picking up numerous awards, including two Emmy awards for television and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation along the way.