Theodor Seuss Geisel

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of

looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at

life's realities."

Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield Massachusetts in 1904. He went to Dartmouth

College and Oxford University as an English Literature student. He started writing for the "Jack'o Lantern"

the Dartmouth College humor magazine, and gain much notoriety by writing with "Judge" magazine after

that ( He worked as a cartoonist for almost a decade and then, in 1937, he wrote

and illustrated his first children's book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

The following is from a page I found on the Internet:

Long before the Obsks would make a casual appearance in "If I Ran the Zoo" their own story would be

told. This story comes from Ted's life around the time he left Standard Oil in the 30's while the depression

still held America in its grips. It was a 4 page illustrated novelette that was never published, and the text

went like this.

A flock of Obsks

From down in Nobsks

Hiked up to Bobsks

To look for Jobsks

Then back to Nobsks

With sighs and Sobsks...

There were, in Bobsks,

No jobs for Obsks.

Dr. Seuss was a genius, who did not only write his books for children. Many of his books have

morals that he was trying to get through to the adult who was reading the book, and at the same time instill

them in the child as they grow. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street is an example of this type of

book with morals for both adult and child. It is the story of a boy whose imagination is too strong for his

father's liking. The boy is afraid to go home and tell his father what he thinks he saw on Mulberry Street,

in fear of what his father will say about the outrageous things that happened. Seuss was trying to show how

adults can stifle and kill a child's imagination without even knowing they are doing it.


Dr. Seuss's first book was an instant success and soon after came the books The King's Stilts

(1939) and Horton Hatches the Egg (1940). During World War II, Geisel wrote films for the war effort.

One of these films, entitled Design for Death, a documentary about the Japanese people, won him an

Academy Award in 1947.

For several decades following Ted Geisel wrote many more children's books, 40 books in all.

They include favorites as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the first grade reader The Cat in the Hat, and

Green Eggs and Ham. The Lorax, written in 1971, focused on environmental concerns such as air and

water pollution, and land waste. In 1984, he wrote The Butter Battle which revolved around nuclear war.

It seems that Ted Geisel was asked by a Dartmouth college classmate to come to Chicago for a

visit, and being promised a third honorary degree as a filip, Ted and his wife Helen went, only to find out

that he was scheduled to be the speaker at the commencement ceremonies. He only had a short time to put

together a speech, which lasted only 75 seconds, and was titled "My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating


My uncle ordered popovers

from the restaurant's bill of fare.

And when there were served,

he regarded them

with a penetrating stare...

Then he spoke great Words of Wisdom

as he sat there in that chair!

"To eat these things,"

Said my uncle,

"You must exercise great care.

You may swallow down what solid...


You must spit out the air!"


As you partake of the world's bill of fare,

That's darned good advice to follow.

Do a lot of spitting out the hot air

And be careful what you swallow.