Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

I love Dr. Seuss. I have loved him for as long as I can remember. I am convinced that Dr. Seuss is the reason I learned to read at an early age. Well, Dr. Seuss via my brilliant mother and big sister who would have reading races with me using the very famous “Fox in Sox“. What a wonderful way to learn to read!

You never feel like you are the only one making mistakes when the mistakes are so utterly ridiculous and impossible not to make as is proven by your brilliant Mummy’s tripping over phrases like, “First, I’ll make a quick trick brick stack. Then I’ll make a quick trick block stack.” and reinforced by your beautiful big sister, whom you admire more than any other (still do!), who struggles to spit out, “Who sews whose socks? Sue sews Sue’s socks. Who sees who sew whose new socks, sir? You see Sue sew Sue’s new socks, sir. That’s not easy, Mr. Fox, sir.”

The goal was to read as far as you possibly could without making a mistake. When (not if!) someone made a mistake it was time to pass the book and give the next person a chance to beat the record. On and on it went until eventually we reached the end of the book. Great fun! The excellent repetition a beginning reader needs in a funny, colourful, entertaining book through a fantastic activity. Perfection. It is one of my fondest childhood memories. Honestly. There were some serious belly laughs shared over “Fox in Sox”.

Dr. Seuss’ birthday is on Sunday March 2.  If he was still celebrating birthdays he would have a BIG cake with 110 candles this year!  Isn’t that remarkable? I bet he’d have a pretty amazing cake, but I digress…

Every year on Dr. Seuss’ Birthday at Chez Peady we celebrate by having Green Eggs and Ham. Oh yes we do!

Green eggs

“Greener-than-Green” Green Eggs! How? Blue food colouring because yellow and blue make green! Yay! Science & Art!

Green eggs and ham

Here is a plated portion of green eggs & ham with a tortilla.

Green eggs and ham (Tex-Mex)

Green Eggs & Ham + Tortilla, cheese and salsa! Olé!

So, you must tell me…

Do you celebrate the Birthday of Dr. Seuss?

Is it a formal occasion? Do you really let loose?

Are there Green Eggs and Ham on all of your plates?

How do you mark this most important of dates?

Do you have a big battle in a bottle with paddles?

Do you tell lots of stories, some tales and some tattles?

Is hopping on Pop more of your scene?

Just tell me right now, you’ve got to come clean!

P.S. We will also be reading all of our Dr. Seuss books tomorrow and there will definitely be a “Fox in Sox” race! After all Thing 1 and Thing 2 have Dr. Seuss built right in!

P.P.S. Here are a few links to help you with your own Dr. Seuss Day celebrations!

P.P.P.S. Please come back and tell me what kind of fun things you did to celebrate! Thanks!

Random House maintains this most excellent “Seussville” site. http://www.seussville.com

An interesting set of surprising Seuss facts. http://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-dr-seuss

Terrific list of Dr. Seuss’ books. How many have you read? http://childrensbooksguide.com/dr-seuss-books-list

Here are 10 interesting facts about Dr. Seuss books. http://visual.ly/10-facts-about-dr-seuss-books

This list of 30 quotes is simply awesome! I especially love #17! http://www.mamiverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/30DrSeuss_quotes.jpg

This is an amazingly comprehensive collection of Dr. Seuss goodies! Yup! Totally obSEUSSed!

obSEUSSedLinkCollection
You can even follow @Seussville on Twitter, but it seems like there isn’t anyone manning their account lately. That’s a shame! Twitter is such  great way to engage and celebrate.

Book ’em!

Today is Family Literacy Day in Canada. It’s one of my favourite days. We love books. We are a family of readers – even though some of us don’t have a lot of time and one of us is a reluctant reader – we are definitely a book loving, read-it-one-more-time, oh-please-just-one-more-story, I-promise-I’ll-go-to-sleep-after-this-chapter, kind of family.

It is a common occurrence for Thing 1 to read into the wee hours. He should be sleeping. He needs to be sleeping. We know this. Yet, the little solar powered, wind up radio/flashlight that he keeps with him when he “sleeps” is remarkably long lasting (way to go Lee Valley!) and how can we deny him that last chapter? No really. I’m asking! We are usually asleep. So it’s impossible, right?

Thing 2 is a reluctant reader. Don’t get me wrong – she loves books and having books read to her. She even likes reading with her brother or her friends at school, but she doesn’t have the undying need to unlock the code that leads to being a fully independent reader. It’s just not her style. Yet.

I am confident it will come. I see sparks and glimmers of it more and more these days. The Reading Detective with her spy glass and Sherlock Hemlock (Yes. Hemlock.) hat. The spending time with books surrounding her little body as she sits in her bed after school for some much needed and well deserved alone time. The excitement when she finds a new series to start at the library (Thea Stilton is her latest discovery.). The thrill of reading a book from start to finish. It’s happening. Slowly, but surely, it’s happening.

Actually, today was an exciting day for Thing 2. She got to participate in “Reader’s Theatre” as a part of her school’s Literacy Week celebrations and she was the narrator. Best of all, she came home very excited to tell me all about it and how they might get to perform for the Grade Fours. GRADE FOURS YOU GUYS! This is the Grade Two equivalent of Broadway!

Since today is Family Literacy Day, I thought it might be fun to ask my children what kinds of things families should do to encourage children to read. I was right. It was fun (for me). You can let me know if it was fun for you, but not right now. Right now I have some interviews to conduct.

Here are my questions:

1. When did you learn to read?

Thing 1: “Grade 1. I read a Geronimo Stilton book.”

Thing 2: “Senior Kindergarten. I read BOB books.”

2. How did learning to read make you feel?

Thing 1: “Pretty good. I was really excited when I finished reading.”

Thing 2: “Horrible! I didn’t want to learn how to read!”

3. What is your favourite thing about reading?

Thing 1: “That there are books about pretty much, almost, everything!”

Thing 2: “I like when I am reading a book and I’m right in the middle of it and I just have to get to the end.”

4. When is your favourite time of day to read?

Thing 1: “When I’m supposed to be sleeping.”

Thing 2: “Bedtime, because I get to snuggle you {Ed. Awww!} and read with you.”

5. What would you tell concerned parents to make them feel better about their child’s reading abilities?

Thing 1: “They’ll learn to read at their own pace and don’t read them, “See Sam. See Sam run. See Sam run around the track.”, books. Try reading them a little more interesting and bearable stories.”

Thing 2: “I would tell them just let them read a book and encourage them and just watch them grow in reading.”

6. What would you tell teachers to help them get their students excited about reading?

Thing 1: “I’d tell them to start reading books in class and let their kids choose what books they read and not say “I know you want to read this chapter book, and I know you can, but you haven’t passed the test for that book yet, so here read this it has three to four words. Have fun.”

Thing 2: “I would tell them that the child should have a little push and picture books and then they can grow into chapter books with no pictures and well, it will be funner for them.”

7. Do you think Family Literacy Day is important?

Thing 1: “Depends whether people actually read books on it or not. ‘Cause it’s not really Family Literacy Day unless you read. It’s even better when teachers do something with their classes. Like a special event.”

Thing 2: “Yes, because reading books is important, too!”

8. What is your all time favourite book?

Thing 1: “It’s not really a book its more of a series of books and I can’t decide between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.”

Thing 2: “Thea Stilton books because they are like Geronimo Stilton books, but – no offence Geronimo – they just have better adventures.”

Today is a good day to be just a little bit more mindful of how great it is to have access to so many books in a city with great libraries and bookstores

How are we spending Family Literacy Day? Pretty much the same way we spend every day. School and work. Dinner together. Just like everyday there will be lots of reading. Maybe tonight there will be an extra bedtime story – or ten.