The Cat in the Hat was a book that changed the way kids learned to read.

March 2, 2012

Theodor Seuss Geisel (3.2.1904), best known as Dr. Seuss is credited with “killing off” the Dick and Jane Books by creating the first I Can Read book in 1957. Here is the back story to how The Cat in the Hat came to be written.

In 1954 John Hersey wrote an article in Life Magazine “Why Do Children Bog Down on the First R?” Hersey concluded that children bogged down on the First R because “primers were bland, idealized and terribly literal, unable to hold youngsters attention.” This was the impetus for Dr. Seuss to write a book using only 223 words that children would easily recognize. The Cat in the Hat, 1629 words in length, with a vocabulary of only 223 words, was written to teach children how to read. The book launched the Beginning Books series, followed by the I Can Read Books.
The Cat In the Hat took Seuss 1½ years to write and in his own words: “ Writing The Cat in the Hat experience was like being lost with a witch in a tunnel of love- only job I ever tackled that I found more difficult was when I wrote the Baedeker that Eskimos use then they travel to Siam.”

Don’t even think of allowing your child to leave childhood behind without experiencing the sheer delight of the Frances books.

March 1, 2012

Russell Hoban, author of more than fifty books for children, including some true classics of children’s literature, died December 13,2011. His book, A Bargain for Frances is one of those books I will always remember, as much for the story line a for the conversation the book prompted. Badgers, Thelma and Frances are best friends […]


Aldous Huxley said, “ Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” Let’s prove him wrong!

February 27, 2012

Rules and parenting go hand in hand and all too often conversations on rules can easily sound like a sermon or a warning. As children get older they get very good at seeing one of these conversations coming and they tune us out. They have heard it before—and often they have heard it multiple times. […]


Happy Valentine’s Day to the Oxford English Dictionary!

February 14, 2012

In honor of Valentine’s Day I just received an email with selected poems for every relationship under the sun. As much as I enjoyed many of the poems, I was pleased to see that my Valentine Greeting, to the Oxford English Dictionary is one of a kind! The OED recently released its 2011 edition and […]


Good readers practive “Radical Hospitality”

February 7, 2012

I just had the pleasure of working in Cleveland Ohio and I met the extraordinary idea of radical hospitality, a term used to describe the welcome policy of Trinity Cathedral, The Episcopal Church in downtown Cleveland. I attended an evening program and had the pleasure of studying with some members of the church community along […]


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