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The Man Behind the Hat

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The Man Behind the Hat

“More and more tension as if over inflating a balloon until the readers

can not stand waiting for the “pop!” and then there is no pop, just deflation

of the balloon(Hurst 2).” A perfect example of a writer named Theodor

Seuss Geisel, also known as “Dr. Seuss.” A man who some think created,

“the world of imagination” as we know it in children’s literature. Theodor

Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated many books and sold millions of copies. He

created catch phrases and captured the eyes of children all over the world.

What made this man, Dr. Seuss such a well-known author by children and

adults until this day?

Theodor Seuss Geisel, “Dr. Seuss,” was born March 2, 1904 in

Springfield, Massachusetts. His father was the curator of the Forest Park

Zoo. Seuss graduated from Dartmouth College. After his graduation Seuss

started a career in advertising. He created ads and drew cartoons for Flit, a

pesticide company. Between making cartoons for Flit and his father working

at the zoo, animals and ideas became some of the basis of his later work

(Hurst 1).

Dr. Seuss’ first book was To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

(Hurst 1 ). He used a pen name, “Dr. Seuss.” He wanted to use his real name

for more serious work. Seuss was Theodors’ middle name and he put Dr. in

the front because his father had always wanted him to be a doctor

(Hurst 1).

The Cat in the Hat series started when he was reading an article by

the novelist John Hersey who observed what the “young readers” used in

school were ridiculous. Seuss was told that he could only use words from the

Dolch reading list. So he took 223 words and created a fun and exciting book

worth children reading (Hurst 2). Green Eggs and Ham, which was written in

50 vocabulary words, became the third best-selling book in the English

Language. After The Cat in the Hat, Seuss printed 31 more children’s books

and continued to receive many honors, including a Pulitzer Prize Award in

1984 and several Emmies. He wrote and illustrated around 47 books and sold

over 100 million copies in almost 18 different languages (Robinson 1). Seuss

and his wife, Helen Palmer, created a whole line of beginner books for young


Geisel’s work were like journeys into nonsense. Magical worlds of

truffula trees, ziffs and zuffs and nerkles and nerds, where top hatted cats

ran rampant through young children’s homes while parents were away. His

illustrations are fascinating in that he really only drew one human face. All

his people looked alike with minor adjustments. His creatures look very plain

and simple until you try to imitate them. His landscapes were remembered for

their creation of distance. His rhymes were simple but yet too different

from what everyone was used to seeing. Most of the time his stories

included messages of important issues, from internationalism to

environmentalism. In his 1984 best seller, the

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