Please Try to Remember the First of Octember

Overview

In 1957, Ted Geisel, a.k.a Dr. Seuss, wrote a book call The Cat in the Hat. It was fun to read aloud, easy to read alone, and impossible to put down. It was the first Beginner Book. And that's exactly what it did. It began to change the way children learn how to read—to make learning to read a joy, not a ...
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Overview

In 1957, Ted Geisel, a.k.a Dr. Seuss, wrote a book call The Cat in the Hat. It was fun to read aloud, easy to read alone, and impossible to put down. It was the first Beginner Book. And that's exactly what it did. It began to change the way children learn how to read—to make learning to read a joy, not a task, to make reading for pleasure the best way to learn.

Please Try to Remember the First of Octember!
By DR. SEUSS writing as THEO. LESIEG
Illustrated in full color by ART CUMMINGS

Question: What do you get the kid who wants everything? Answer: Please Try to Remember the First of Octember!, the wonderfully exaggerated LeSeig Beginner Book that gently pokes fun at the green-eyed monster in all of us. Reissued with a new cover taken from the interior, this backlist classic is a parent's wish come true!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394935638
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/1977
  • Series: I Can Read It All By Myself Beginner Books Series
  • Edition description: REI
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Seuss
It’s difficult to imagine the children’s book landscape without Dr. Seuss, who is, almost half a century after The Cat in the Hat, the best-recognized children’s book writer in the country. But until Dr. Seuss -- a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel -- reinvented the genre with his colorful and exuberant Sneetches, Grinches, Zaxes, and Zooks, children’s books were often little more than literal-minded lessons and cautionary tales intended to transform young readers into productive citizens.

Biography

Now that generations of readers have been reared on The Cat in the Hat and Fox in Socks, it's easy to forget how colorless most children's books were before Dr. Seuss reinvented the genre. When the editorial cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1936, the book was turned down by 27 publishers, many of whom said it was "too different." Geisel was about to burn his manuscript when it was rescued and published, under the pen name Dr. Seuss, by a college classmate.

Over the next two decades, Geisel concocted such delightfully loopy tales as The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and Horton Hears a Who. Most of his books earned excellent reviews, and three received Caldecott Honor Awards. But it was the 1957 publication of The Cat in the Hat that catapulted Geisel to celebrity.

Rudolf Flesch's book Why Johnny Can't Read, along with a related Life magazine article, had recently charged that children's primers were too pallid and bland to inspire an interest in reading. The Cat in the Hat, written with 220 words from a first-grade vocabulary list, "worked like a karate chop on the weary little world of Dick, Jane and Spot," as Ellen Goodman wrote in The Detroit Free Press. With its vivid illustrations, rhyming text and topsy-turvy plot, Geisel's book for beginning readers was anything but bland. It sold nearly a million copies within three years.

Geisel was named president of Beginner Books, a new venture of Random House, where he worked with writers and artists like P.D. Eastman, Michael Frith, Al Perkins, and Roy McKie, some of whom collaborated with him on book projects. For books he wrote but didn't illustrate, Geisel used the pen name Theo LeSieg (LeSieg is Geisel spelled backwards).

As Dr. Seuss, he continued to write bestsellers. Some, like Green Eggs and Ham and the tongue-twisting Fox in Socks, were aimed at beginning readers. Others could be read by older children or read aloud by parents, who were often as captivated as their kids by Geisel's wit and imagination. Geisel's visual style appealed to television and film directors, too: The animator Chuck Jones, who had worked with Geisel on a series of Army training films, brought How the Grinch Stole Christmas! to life as a hugely popular animated TV special in 1966. A live-action movie starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch was released in 2000.

Many Dr. Seuss stories have serious undertones: The Butter Battle Book, for example, parodies the nuclear arms race. But whether he was teaching vocabulary words or values, Geisel never wrote plodding lesson books. All his stories are animated by a lively sense of visual and verbal play. At the time of his death in 1991, his books had sold more than 200 million copies. Bennett Cerf, Geisel's publisher, liked to say that of all the distinguished authors he had worked with, only one was a genius: Dr. Seuss.

Good To Know

The Cat in the Hat was written at the urging of editor William Spaulding, who insisted that a book for first-graders should have no more than 225 words. Later, Bennett Cerf bet Geisel $50 that he couldn't write a book with just 50 words. Geisel won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, though to his recollection, Cerf never paid him the $50.

Geisel faced another challenge in 1974, when his friend Art Buchwald dared him to write a political book. Geisel picked up a copy of Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! and a pen, crossed out each mention of the name "Marvin K. Mooney," and replaced it with "Richard M. Nixon." Buchwald reprinted the results in his syndicated column. Nine days later, President Nixon announced his resignation.

The American Heritage Dictionary says the word "nerd" first appeared in print in the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo: "And then, just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo / And bring back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo / A Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!" The word "grinch," after the title character in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is defined in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as a killjoy or spoilsport.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Theodor Seuss Geisel (full name); also: Theo LeSieg, Rosetta Stone
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 2, 1904
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      September 4, 1991
    2. Place of Death:
      La Jolla, California

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Need a book for teaching about Months of the Year in Elementary School?

    A student brought me in a library copy of this book. I found it to be excellent for an introduction into a lesson on the months of the year in Kindergarten. It is a fun read, and can be used for a writing project after reading it to the class. They then can write about what they would like on the First of Octember. I even used this book for a gift for a teacher in Elementary school. Enjoy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2009

    Cute story.

    My son loves this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2006

    Please Try to Remember the Fun to be had With Seuss!

    This is a wonderful book for children young and old. A great way to teach young children rhyming words. It is an even better way for 'older' children to remember that it is okay to wish for time to be silly and not grown up. I was read this book when I was a child and now that I teach preschool, could not wait to share it with my students!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2001

    When Will You Be Able to Have Everything You Want?,

    Children have great imaginations and no sense of limits. In this very humorous book, Dr. Seuss (writing as Theo. LeSieg -- the reverse of his real last name of Geisel) helps with encouraging the imagination while suggesting that fulfillment may have to wait . . . just a bit. 'Everyone wants a big green kangaroo.' 'Maybe, perhaps, you would like to have TWO.' 'I want you to have them. I'll buy them for you . . . . . . if you'll wait till the First of Octember.' Thus the theme begins. The book provides lots of neat things to have such as a skateboard TV (and if one is good, four are ever so much better), pickles on trees, and swinging on a flying trapeze. 'Just say what you want, and whatever you say, you'll get on Octember the First.' Like many Dr. Seuss books, this one has marvelous inventions. You will learn to play a hit tune on a Jook-a-ma-Zoon, use a Jeep-a-Fly kite, rest in a tree hammock with your dog, play new sports like Hock-Zocker (on a court with different amounts of points available for putting the ball in various holes), and watch wonderful rockets. A.T. Cumings is the illustrator for the book, but the drawings certainly evoke the Dr. Seuss feel in the more imaginative objects. Each illustration is clear and in bright colors. The book goes on to describe all the fun you will have on Octember the First. Large denomination bills will fall from the sky. You can stay up all night drinking 66 six packs of Doodle Delight. 'But EVERYTHING'S YOURS . . . on the First of Octember!' 'Thank you! I'll remember that.' Virtually all parents and grandparents would like to be able to lay more love and physical blessings before their youngsters. This book provides a way to express that desire without spoiling the child in the process. You can also make a great game of this while traveling by car. You child can ask for things she or he sees, and you can promise to get four of them on the First of Octember. That should get a laugh. Don't forget to make up things that don't exist. That will be even more fun. Also, when your child is in the toy store and refusing to leave without a scene unless you fork over another $343, you can try (and I hope it works) offering to get the items on the next First of Octember. If you can pull that one off, you're a genius! Let your generosity be unbounded . . . and contingent! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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