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Theodor Seuss Geisel

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904–1991) was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He wrote more than 50 children's books and illustrated some of them. Geisel's books are popular because they are funny and imaginative. Many of his characters get away with outrageous behavior. The cat in The Cat in the Hat, for example, creates a huge mess in the home of two children. Then he uses a magical machine to clean the house.

Books for Beginners

The Cat in the Hat was written for first graders who are just learning to read. It uses only words from a list of 225 words that first graders would understand. Another Dr. Seuss book with just a few different words is Green Eggs and Ham. That book is the result of a bet with a publisher who thought that Geisel could not write a book using only 50 words. Geisel proved he could do it, but it is said that the publisher never paid up.

Movies for the Troops

During World War II, Geisel used his imagination and his sense of humor to make training films for the soldiers. In those films, which Geisel made with an animator named Chuck Jones, Private Snafu teaches important things the troops needed to know.

Movies for Children

Theodor Geisel was one of the most popular children's authors ever. Millions of copies of his books have been sold, and they are still selling today. Several of them have been made into movies. At Christmastime each year for many years, children have enjoyed an animated movie of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Then in 2000, a new film of the story was made using real actors. The Cat in the Hat movie aired in 2003. No doubt Hollywood will be making Dr. Seuss movies for many years to come.

Making Reading Fun

Before Geisel wrote his books, children were taught reading from books whose characters never did anything wrong or silly. In fact, they hardly did anything at all. The great thing that Theodor Geisel did was to make learning to read fun.