I always forget about Dr. Seuss. I know that seems ridiculous, but he is totally ubiquitous, and there isn't really anything new to discover of his works, and everyone already has their favorites, so I never think to write about him. But today's his birthday, so I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorites. Perhaps you will discover something you don't know:
My all time favorite Dr. Seuss Books were: Green Eggs and Ham and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (above).
I didn't know If I Ran the Zoo when I was a kid, but it is one of my favorites now! (Is anyone surprised by this? I love zoos.)
And my friend Ava gave me Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book, which is very very silly and delightful.
This is a really fun board book about colors. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have made new paintings to accompany the text by Dr. Seuss. I know Seuss was more of an artist than a writer, and it is impossible to imagine the Llorax any different from how he drew him, but I won't why more people don't do this. It would be a great project (if only an exercise) for an aspiring illustrator.
But the very very best of Dr. Seuss isn't a book at all: it's a movie. We grew up on his one film, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, and it is now out on DVD for a whole new generation to enjoy. Staring Tommy Rettig (one of the boys in Lassie) and Hans Conreid (a great and underrated character actor), it is about a little boy who falls asleep while practicing his piano, and has the strangest dream. His piano teacher, Dr. T, has created a school for boys, with a 500 person piano, become engaged to Bart's mother, and hired the local plumber to do all his handy work. It is funny, strange, at times quite chilling, at other times very heartwarming. It bends the imagination, and engages on almost every level. And it actually teaches an awful lot about music in the meantime. I'll warn you: it is strange, it's thoroughly Dr. Seuss. And it's grand. Here's the trailer (oh, what a funny little time capsule), and my two favorite scenes from the film (Buy it here!):