March 2 is an important day for book nerds—it’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday! The wildly popular author, who brought us perennial picture-book favorites like The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax, would have been 114 this year. And what better way to celebrate this special day than with your fellow Seuss fans at Barnes & Noble?
Join us on Friday, March 2nd at your local B&N store for a Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration! Festivities start at 6:30pm. There will be a Storytime featuring several beloved Dr. Seuss classics, along with games and other fun activities!
We have Dr. Seuss to thank for so many amazing books, kooky characters, tongue-twisting rhymes, and invented words. So in the meantime, dust off your red-and-white striped hat, grab yourself a good book and a piece of birthday cake—“made of guaranteed, certified strictly Grade-A peppermint cucumber sausage-paste butter!”—and check out 9 surprising facts about the good doctor himself.
1. Dr. Seuss wasn’t the only pen name Theodore Geisel used. He also wrote under Dr. Theophrastus Seuss, T. Seuss, Theo LeSieg, and Rosetta Stone.
2. The book Green Eggs and Ham was the result of a bet between Dr. Seuss and his editor Bennett Cerf, who bet the author he couldn’t write a book using fewer words than The Cat in the Hat, which had 225. Green Eggs and Ham has only 50!
3. He may have originated the word “nerd”—the first known use was in his book If I Ran the Zoo, in 1951.
4. Seuss had no biological children of his own, though he would make up fanciful stories about his invented daughter, Chrysanthemum-Pearl, even dedicating the book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins to her: “To Chrysanthemum-Pearl, age 89 months, going on 90.” He later became stepfather to the two daughters of his second wife, Audrey.
5. In response to the oft-asked question “Where do you get your ideas,” Seuss said, “I get all my ideas in Switzerland near the Forka Pass. There is a little town called Gletch, and two thousand feet up above Gletch there is a smaller hamlet called Über Gletch. I go there on the fourth of August every summer to get my cuckoo clock fixed. While the cuckoo is in the hospital, I wander around and talk to the people in the streets. They are very strange people, and I get my ideas from them.”
6. The last book published in Dr. Seuss’s lifetime was Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
7. Dr. Seuss even inspired a theme park! Seuss Landing is one of the seven themed “islands” at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.
8. Seuss was honored with various awards during his career, but he never won the Caldecott Medal or the Newbery Award. He does, however, now have an award named in his honor—the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, which is given annually to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers.
9. Dr. Seuss wasn’t a real doctor—he added the Dr. to his name in honor of his father, who wanted him to practice medicine. But Dartmouth College did grant the author an honorary doctorate in 1956.
What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book?