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Top 5 Dr. Seuss stories with life lessons

Theodor Geisel used the pen name Dr. Seuss on more than 60 children's books he wrote and illustrated. The lesser known pen name of Theo LeSieg (his last name spelled backward) was used for books he wrote but others illustrated.

Theodor Geisel used the pen name Dr. Seuss on more than 60 children's books he wrote and illustrated. The lesser known pen name of Theo LeSieg (his last name spelled backward) was used for books he wrote but others illustrated.

This week marks what would have been Dr. Seuss' 108th birthday, as well as the opening for the highly anticipated animated movie debut of one the author's most favored books, The Lorax.

I have always loved the writings of Dr. Seuss. Some of my fondest memories with my five children are of reading Dr. Seuss books together. As we read at bedtime I challenged them to interpret the voices and personalities of the Seussical characters and together we would bring them to life.

Even as an adult, I still love the books and teachings of Dr. Seuss.

Theodor Geisel wrote more than 60 children's books during his lifetime. He used the pen name Dr. Seuss for all of the books he both wrote and illustrated. The lesser known pen name of Theo LeSieg (his last name spelled backward) was used for books he wrote but others illustrated.

The works of this master children's book writer have been entertaining readers for generations. His whimsical illustrations tantalize the mind and the easy-to-read rhymes are often life lessons disguised as fun, and sometimes mischievous, adventures.

Last week the Brooke Jackman Foundation released a list of the Top 5 Seuss books that contain more than meets the eye -- stories that also teach children how to handle challenging situations.

The Brooke Jackman Foundation was created in 2001 to honor Brooke Jackman, a bright and compassionate 23-year-old avid reader who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Brooke's passion and commitment to literacy and helping children inspired the Jackman family to create the Foundation as her living legacy. The foundation has donated over 100,000 books and 15,000 "Brooke Packs," backpacks filled with books and school supplies, to children and families in need.

The Brooke Jackman Foundation Top 5 list includes:

The Lorax - Teaches the need to be environmentally conscious

Oh, The Places You'll Go - Teaches how to remain positive when faced with adversity

The Cat in the Hat - Teaches about responsibility and honesty

I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! - Teaches that reading is a useful tool to acquire knowledge

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street - Teaches to be imaginative

"Dr. Seuss stories are the perfect way to introduce children to themes that they will be encountering throughout their lives. From these books, children are given examples of how to be independent and self-confident, how to care for the world around them and other lessons that they will be able to draw wisdom from throughout their lives," said Erin Jackman, Director of the Brooke Jackman Foundation.

I salute the Brooke Jackman Foundation for their work, and I thank them for keeping the dreams of both Jackman and Seuss alive.

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, Green Eggs and Ham, is not on the Brooke Jackman Foundation list. It is often categorized simply as a beginning reader book -- but I believe it's still a classic Dr. Seuss teaching story. It teaches us to keep an open mind about things we do not understand, or things we have not yet experienced.

There is so much in life that we judge harshly without real knowledge or true understanding - especially people and what they believe. Some of the final words in Dr. Seuss' book, if applied more often, would certainly build a kinder society.

You do not like them.

SO you say.

Try them! Try them!

And you may.

Try them and you may I say.

What Dr. Seuss book would you have placed on the top 5 list?

Archived reader comments:


Posted: Friday, March 02, 2012

Article comment by: The Rev

@Roland Summit, really. Not at the factualness of your statement but at you. Your purpose demands such vulgarity to the moment? Regardless to Dr Seuss's Suess-i-ness he touched us. He made us better. I pity you never really heard or read him and hope someday you will.


Posted: Friday, March 02, 2012

Article comment by: Roland Summit

Theo. Guisel's themes were about uselessness of War , Abortion, Adoption, Drugs and Racism. Etc...

Each of his children's stories has an adult theme.


Posted: Friday, March 02, 2012

Article comment by: Richard Haddad

@ Rev. I agree. Many years ago my wife started giving our children a copy of "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" when they graduated from high school. It wasn't just the book's message that was meaningful, but also the personal words she would write in the front cover of each book telling them how much we believed in them, and encouraging them to believe in themselves no matter what life may throw at you -- something Dr. Seuss often tried to teach his young readers.


Posted: Friday, March 02, 2012

Article comment by: The Rev

For me it is Horton Hatches the Egg. You may cage, threaten, and mock me but my spirit can never broken.


Posted: Friday, March 02, 2012

Article comment by: Debbie H

For me, the The Butter Battle Book was the most powerful message.


Posted: Friday, March 02, 2012

Article comment by: Peter C.

I would like to have seen Horton Hears a Who on the top 5 list. It brings back many memories for me. As an adult I see this happening in the world today. People not willing to listen to the little guy. People who are so selfishly wrapped up in their own world they think their world is all there is. The not-so-visible people need to be heard but it often feels like no one is listening. Our politicians should read this book. We are shouting, "We're here, we're here, we're here!!!"