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Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Appreciating the works of Dr. Seuss

March 05, 2014|By Joe Puglia

What a beautiful rainy morning! Kaitzer was running around multitasking as usual, preparing lunches, collecting signatures, doling out money, making breakfast and advising on homework. I was trying to find my car keys.

“Joe! It’s Read Across America Day,” Kaitzer said.

“What’s that?” I asked. I must have missed the memo.

She explained that the day commemorates Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2, and celebrates the joy of reading.

“Read Across America is the largest celebration of literacy in America,” she said.

I had found my keys but couldn’t find my wallet. Consequently, I was in a cantankerous mood.

“Why is Dr. Seuss’ birthday singled out? I think there’s a ton of writers far more expressive than him,” I said.

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My mother didn’t raise no fool, thus I should have realized that after 22 years of marriage, I couldn’t win against Kaitzer.

“We’re not comparing apples to oranges,” she said.

Comparing apples to oranges! She stole my line. It’s all I remember as a philosophy major.

“Children’s books are a separate genre,” she continued. “There are few authors that compare with the greatness of Dr. Seuss. He changed the way people view children’s literature. What makes him special is his unique way of viewing the world. With his delightful rhyming skills, each of his books have a significant message but at the same time they’re fun and silly.”

Read Across America Day is commemorated by members of the community reading to children at our local elementary schools. Ah! It finally dawned on me; today I was supposed to be a reader. I forgot to read that memo inviting me to participate.

Of course Kaitzer had answered her invitation and was scheduled to read to Lisa Marie De Leon’s third- grade class at La Cañada Elementary. Things usually work out the way they should since she would read noteworthy children’s literature and I’d probably wind up talking about the Spartans ripping the Immortals at the battle of Thermopylae.

“What are you going to read?” I asked.

“‘Horton Gives a Who’ by Dr. Seuss and ‘The Recess Queen’ by Alexis O’Neill,” she responded. I thought that was a bit advanced for third-grade students.

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