(photo by Kathy Cassidy@flickr)
Before J K Rowling came along with her series of Harry Potter books probably the most famous author of children’s books was Theodore Geiesel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss. He published 46 children’s books including “Cat In the Hat”,“Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.
Geisel worked as a political cartoonist, illustrator and author during his life. He drew posters for the military during World War Two. He even wrote a screen play that failed badly. But he began writing children’s books because he thought the typical Dick and Jane books that kids were reading at the time were just too boring.
Even though they were directed at children his books had a political ring to them.
“Yertle the Turtle” was a shot at Hitler. Yertle was the king of the pond and demanded that the other turtles stack themselves up so he could sit on top of them and see all he could see. The stack of turtles collapsed though when he got angry when he saw that the moon was higher than him.
“The Lorax” was a statement on the poor condition of the environment. The book originally had the line “I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie.” 14 years later when things improved in Lake Erie he was asked to take the line out and he did.
He was challenged to write a book using only 50 words and he did when he wrote “Green Eggs and Ham”.
“Oh the Places You Will Go” was the last of the series of children’s books he wrote before he died. It’s also one of his all-time best sellers because 300-thousand are given to graduating high school and college students each year.