I’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss books lately. I’m sure most parents have been here in Seussville before, where you find yourself muttering “I do not like them, Sam I am / I do not like green eggs and ham” as you go about your daily routine. I cut my baby teeth on a hardcover copy of The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, and when my first child was born, we purchased about half a dozen of the most well-known Seuss titles. But I am just beginning to realize the incredible size of the entire Seuss body of work. I thought we had read most of the Seuss books, but then I found several more at the library, and then several more on a return trip, and then yet more on our next trip. I decided to find out once and for all how many books were authored by Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel, aka Theo LeSieg.
The answer is more than 60 published books for children. The exact total depends on how you count them: some of the books were published as Dr. Seuss, some as Theo LeSieg, some illustrated by Geisel and some illustrated by others. More than 60 books! My family has barely made a dent in the collected works. This is really good news for us because we love the Seuss books. I like them because they are fun to read aloud, they are quick to read (this in spite of the high number of pages in books such as Green Eggs and Ham), they are humorous, and there is something very classic about these children’s stories. Perhaps because they were read to me as a child, I feel like I’m passing something valuable and enjoyable along to my children when we read them. My kids like the Seuss books because of the crazy, funny illustrations, the repetitive and often-rhyming text is easy to follow, and they have the Seuss magic. The simplicity of the words and the repetition allows for young readers to handle the text, and the books are so much more fun to read than many other “early reader” books.
So, Seuss it up! I have only read about a dozen of the 60 books in the Seuss body of work. I’m setting a goal to read the rest by the end of 2011. I bet your New Year’s resolution isn’t as much fun as mine. And though I’ll be chanting Green Eggs and Ham in my sleep, it’s really melodious and rather soothing. In a culture where Bratz and Hannah Montana dominate, I’ll take Dr. Seuss anyday.