Today we celebrated birthdays at the preschool storytime.
The main library reopened to the public on February 29, 2000, after a major renovation and addition. We love to celebrate the library’s birthday on Leap Day, but it only appears on the calendar 1 out of 4 years. That’s why I have a picture of a cake with only 4 candles. We’ve only celebrated 4 times even though we opened 16 years ago.
We started our storytime today with Happy Birthday, Moon. The bear in the story is excited about his birthday and begins to wonder about the moon’s birthday. He would like to get something for the moon. He travels to some mountains to talk to the moon and finds a place where his own voice returns to him. The resulting dialogue convinces the bear that the moon is talking to him and shares his birthday. The way the bear gives the moon a present, and receives one from the moon, is very clever. The children did a great job being my echo.
March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, so I wanted to read some of his books. I brought in many of the books I own rather than use a library book at this time of year. There is a huge demand on these books right now. I chose Green Eggs and Ham. I think it’s a wonderfully silly story that I never tire of reading. We had a young group of children with even younger siblings, so I didn’t think I would make it all the way through, but I did.
Try it. Try it. You may see that you can make it through as well.
Next I read The Foot Book which is much simpler. Then I talked a bit about books that are beginner books and have The Cat in the Hat on the spine or the cover, but are not written by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel).
The Foot Book is written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss. The author of The Eye Book is Theo. LeSieg – that’s what Theodor Seuss Geisel calls himself when he writes a book but doesn’t do the pictures. (LeSieg is Geisel spelled backward.) Go, Dog. Go! was not written by Theodor Geisel. It was written by P.D. Eastman. Stan and Jan Berenstain wrote the Berenstain Bears books.
Having the Cat in the Hat on all these books creates a bit of confusion. If you thought Dr. Seuss wrote the books, you would look where the Seuss books are shelved and miss those books. What follows is a more thorough explanation….
Dr. Seuss wrote long picture books first. His first children’s book was written in 1937: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. It would be 20 more years before he began writing books with simple words that a 1st grader could read. Random House published The Cat in the Hat in 1957. It was so successful that a new imprint was formed by Random House called Beginner Books. Geisel was the president and editor. Many of our classic children’s books were published by Beginner Books and carry a picture of The Cat in the Hat.
I’m mentioning all of this so you can understand why they are not all together on the shelf. Each one can be found by searching alphabetically for the author’s last name.
This has nothing to do with books you may choose to read on March 2nd. To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a child, simply read a story. It can be any story – perhaps a book you or your child wrote.