Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover: How the Dr. Can Help People

(This is an old piece from my minor in writing and rhetoric at Chapman University. Since most of my writing is pretty loose on here, I figured it would be cool to post something that had more structure. I wish I could find the prompt, alas I cannot. If you were wondering, I got a B on this guy.)

Horton Hears a Who. Fox in Socks. Hop on Pop. The Lorax. At least one of these books has to ring a bell. All of these books have a common author, and this man is one of the most well known authors for young readers. His name is Theodore Seuss Geisel, more commonly referred to as, Dr. Seuss. Ah, now you know who I am talking about. Arguably one of the most well- known authors overall and definitely in the category of young readers, Dr. Seuss burned a legacy into literature by writing some of the most quirky and colorful books at the time. With crazy creatures like the Sneetches and Yertle the turtle, all his books had uniqueness about them. They all were extremely different and contained different stories and lessons.  

Dr. Seuss taught us a valuable lesson in his books (specifically Sneetches and Horton Hears a Who) we learn that being different is not a bad thing. The Sneetches all have different belly marks, and Horton, a giant elephant, befriends a little human to being a good friend. All his books make the most unlikely of people friends and makes sure difference is embraced. It is good to see this in a book designed for young readers, mainly because it teaches the lesson of never judging a book by its cover (pun intended).

Theodore Seuss Geisel was born on March 2nd, 1904 (today, he would be one hundred and thirteen years old). He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, with his father’s occupation being a successful brewer. He would attend college at Dartmouth at age eighteen. He would pick up an editor position at the college for one of its magazines. Later in his college life he would violate the alcohol rules and be kicked off his position of editor. He decided to continue to contribute under the name Seuss. Upon his graduation from Dartmouth, he would move onto Oxford and meet his future wife. They would eventually marry in 1927.

As for the Doctor’s career as a writer, he would publish his first book in 1957. We all know this wonderful book as The Cat in the Hat. Inspired by Theodore’s response to an article about children’s reading levels, this would flourish into probably his most well known work. Today, it has sold more than 10.5 million copies. After this it was off to the races. Other notable books by Seuss include Green Eggs and Ham and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Dr. Seuss appeals to all audiences, not just young readers. Movies have been made about his books and in the audience you see all sorts of people. Young or old, male or female, everyone loves a good story from the doctor. Back to the idea of judgment told by Seuss, his books make everyone smile based on the relationships between characters and how kooky they tend to look. As a kid, someone who looks different can be a reason to be made fun of or judged. After reading some Seuss books, and seeing that the most strange- looking characters tend to be the heroes or the “cool guys,” I think America and most adults should sit back and read a book by Seuss and rethink some of the things they say or do. After all, it’s recommended by the doctor.

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