Arts & Entertainment

South Plainfield Library’s ‘Read Across America’ Program Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Senior Center looked a bit younger this past Saturday March 7th, as children throughout South Plainfield descended on the Center for the South Plainfield Library’s annual ‘Read Across America’ program celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  The day highlights the need, to read, and celebrates the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geigel, better known as Dr. Seuss. 

The day’s events included a number of distinguished, but disguised public officials that read to the 140 strong children that were in attendance.  South Plainfield’s Mayor Anesh, was dressed as “Cat and the Hat” and read his namesake book along with Library Board member Cheryl Nagel-Smiley. The Mayor, who seems to be a dead ringer for ‘Cat in the Hat’ was the biggest hit taking pictures and signing autographs. “This event I circle on my calendar each year because of the fun and enjoyment I get out of it,” said Mayor Anesh. “The children have a great time, but so do the adults. It is a great event and an initiative for reading.”

“I was thrilled to have such a great turnout for the event,” said South Plainfield Library Director Linda Hansen. “Each year this event gets bigger and bigger. I’d like to thank the “Friends of the Library” for once again sponsoring such a great day for South Plainfield’s future.”

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South Plainfield’s hometown Assemblyman and Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick J. Diegnan (D-18) and Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkon (D-18) kicked off the day’s events reading Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham.”

The day ended with everyone eating Dt. Seuss’ birthday cake, and walking away with goodie-bags, balloons and a day’s worth of memories. 

Theodor Seuss Geigel, known as Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904.  In 1925 he published his first cartoon under the pseudonym “Seuss.”  After his wife Helen learned she could not have children, Dr. Seuss decided to begin writing children’s books.  “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” his first, was published in 1937.

A year later Dr. Seuss wrote “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,” the first book that showed the author’s interest in hats.  He followed it up in 1939 with “The King’s Stilts,” a story in which cats for the first time—but not the last—played a major role. 

But success wasn’t immediate.  Over the next few decades, Dr. Seuss wrote in his spare time while working in advertising, where he was successful writing ads for some of the giants in consumer products and retail.

Over the next few decades, Dr. Seuss continued to write books.  In 1954 he wrote one of his most famous, “Horton Hears a Woo.”  In 1957 he wrote two of his most famous, “The Cat in the Hat,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  Three years later he wrote another favorite, “Green Eggs and Ham.”

In 1966 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” hit TV screens, and over the next few years he wrote about a half-dozen more books, including “The Lorax” in 1971 and “Oh the Places You’ll Go” in 1990. 

Theordor Seuss Geisel died on September 24, 1991 and would have been 111 this year.  “Seuss wrote books that make people think and imagine,” said biographer Philip Nel.

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