Island University Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ 115th Birthday

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” said the title character of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.”

In honor of what would have been Dr. Seuss’ 115th birthday, the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted a Reading Day that brought students on a fantastic journey from the city of Whoville to the Jungle of Nool. Donning iconic “Cat in the Hat” headgear, librarians and staff members of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library visited the ECDC and read books to children in preschool through fifth grade.

ECDC students listened intently as the librarians read “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” and “Horton Hears a Who.” As the stories unfolded, the schoolchildren were encouraged to fill in well-known words or phrases, which they often did in chorus. After the tales ended, children posed to take pictures with a large Dr. Seuss-themed frame.

“We love to collaborate with the Island University,” said Julee Murphy, education specialist at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who serves as the ECDC librarian. “Plus, anytime you can celebrate literature and make it fun – the kids get excited about it! Our main goal is to make reading fun for kids so it’ll become a lifelong pursuit.”

According to Patricia Hernandez, Bell Library student success librarian, a love of reading is only one of the gifts Dr. Seuss gives to all ages. His stories also teach valuable life lessons. “Green Eggs and Ham” teaches us that we must try something to know if we like it. “Horton Hears a Who!” shows us that together we can be heard and “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

“Dr. Seuss loaded his books with lessons,” said Hernandez. “For example, his book ‘The Sneetches’ is a story about identifying that we don’t all have to be alike to get along, even if some of us have stars on our bellies and some of us don’t. Other stories talk about how to interact with people, and how to handle your emotions.”  

Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, is one of America’s most popular illustrators and writers of children’s books. He was born March 2, 1904 and died in 1991. During his lifetime, he sold more than 600 million copies of his books and his works have been translated into more than 20 different languages. In recent years, many of his books have also been adapted into animated films.