Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904September 24, 1991) was an American writer and cartoonist best known for his classic children's books under the pen name Dr. Seuss, including The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. His books have become staples for many children and their parents. Seuss's trademarks were his rhyming text and his outlandish creatures. He wrote and illustrated 44 children's books. His books The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch and Horton Hears a Who! have been adapted into films.
Though Geisel himself has been quoted as saying "Seuss -- rhymes with voice", the name is almost universally pronounced in English with an initial s sound and rhyming with "juice".[3] Geisel also used the pen name Theo. LeSieg (Geisel spelled backwards) for books he wrote but others illustrated.
Despite his numerous awards, Dr. Seuss never won the Caldecott Medal nor the Newbery. Three of his titles were chosen as Caldecott runners-up (now referred to as Caldecott Honor books): McElligot's Pool (1947), Bartholomew and the Oobleck (1949), and If I Ran the Zoo (1950).
 

After the war, Dr. Seuss and his wife moved to La Jolla, California. Returning to children's books, he wrote what many consider to be his finest works, including such favorites as If I Ran the Zoo, (1950), Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953), On Beyond Zebra! (1955), If I Ran the Circus (1956), and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957).

At the same time, an important development occurred that influenced much of Seuss's later work. In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. Accordingly, Seuss's publisher made up a list of 400 words he felt were important and asked Dr. Seuss to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. Nine months later, Seuss, using 220 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. This book was a tour de force—it retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Seuss's earlier works, but because of its simplified vocabulary could be read by beginning readers. A rumor exists, that in 1960, Bennett Cerf bet Dr. Seuss $50 that he couldn't write an entire book using only fifty words. The result was supposedly Green Eggs and Ham. The additional rumor that Cerf never paid Seuss the $50 has never been proven and is most likely untrue. These books achieved significant international success and remain very popular.

Dr. Seuss went on to write many other children's books, both in his new simplified-vocabulary manner (sold as "Beginner Books") and in his older, more elaborate style. In 1982 Dr. Seuss wrote "Hunches in Bunches". The Beginner Books were not easy for Seuss, and reportedly he labored for months crafting them.
 

Dr. Seuss' Style

Dr. Seuss wrote most of his books in a verse form that in the terminology of metrics would be characterized as anapestic tetrameter, a meter employed also by Lord Byron and other poets of the English literary canon. (It is also the meter of the famous Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas, more familiarly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas".)

Anapestic tetrameter consists of four rhythmic units (anapests), each composed of two weak beats followed by one strong, schematized below:

x x X x x X x x X x x X

Often, the first weak syllable is omitted, and/or an additional weak syllable is added at the end. A typical line (the first line of If I Ran the Circus) is:

In ALL the whole TOWN the most WONderful SPOT

Seuss generally maintained this meter quite strictly, until late in his career, when he no longer maintained strict rhythm in all lines. The consistency of his meter was one of his hallmarks; the many imitators and parodists of Seuss are often unable to write in strict anapestic tetrameter, or are unaware that they should, and thus sound clumsy in comparison with the original.

Seuss also wrote verse in trochaic tetrameter, an arrangement of four units each with a strong followed by a weak beat:

X x X x X x X x

An example is the title (and first line) of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. The formula for trochaic meter permits the final weak position in the line to be omitted, which facilitates the construction of rhymes.

Seuss generally maintained trochaic meter only for brief passages, and for longer stretches typically mixed it with iambic tetrameter:

x X x X x X x X

which is easier to write. Thus, for example, the magicians in Bartholomew and the Oobleck make their first appearance chanting in trochees (thus resembling the witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth):

SHUFFle, DUFFle, MUZZle, MUFF

then switch to iambs for the oobleck spell:

Go MAKE the OOBleck TUMBle DOWN
On EVery STREET, in EVery TOWN!

In Green Eggs and Ham, Sam-I-Am generally speaks in trochees, and the exasperated character he proselytizes replies in iambs.

While most of Seuss's books are either uniformly anapestic or iambic-trochaic, a few mix triple and double rhythms. Thus, for instance, Happy Birthday to You is generally written in anapestic tetrameter, but breaks into iambo-trochaic meter for the "Dr. Derring's singing herrings" and "Who-Bubs" episodes.
 

List of Dr. Seuss Books

  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street New York: Beginner Books, Vanguard Press, Random House, 1937 1983 B-Extra 1

  • The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins New York: Beginner Books, Vanguard Press, Random House, 1938 1984 B-Extra 2

  • The King's Stilts New York: Random House, 1939

  • The Seven Lady Godivas New York: Random House, 1939

  • Horton Hatches the Egg New York: Random House, 1940

  • McElligot's Pool New York: Random House, 1947. Caldecott Honor Book

  • Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose New York: Random House, 1948

  • Bartholomew and the Oobleck New York: Random House, 1949. Caldecott Honor Book

  • If I Ran the Zoo New York: Random House, 1950. Caldecott Honor Book

  • Scrambled Eggs Super! New York: Random House, 1953

  • Horton Hears a Who! New York: Random House, 1954

  • On Beyond Zebra! New York: Random House, 1955

  • If I Ran the Circus New York: Random House, 1956

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! New York: Random House, 1957

  • The Cat in the Hat New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1957 1985 B-1

  • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1958 1986 B-2

  • Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories New York: Random House, 1958

  • Happy Birthday to You! New York: Random House, 1959

  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1960 1988 B-13

  • Green Eggs and Ham New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1960 1988 B-16

  • The Sneetches and Other Stories New York: Random House, 1961

  • Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book New York: Random House, 1962

  • Dr. Seuss's ABC New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1963 1991 B-30

  • Hop on Pop New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1963 1991 B-29

  • Fox in Socks New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1965 1993 B-38

  • I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew New York: Random House, 1965

  • The Cat in the Hat Song Book New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1967 1994 B-Extra 3

  • The Foot Book New York: Bright & Early Books, Random House, 1968 1996 BE-1
  •  
  • I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories New York: Random House, 1969
  • My Book about ME New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1970 - Roy McKie 1995 B-Extra 4
    I Can Draw It Myself New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1970 1996 B-Extra 5
  • Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?: Dr. Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises! New York: Bright & Early Books, Random House, 1970 1996 BE-7
  • The Lorax New York: Random House, 1971. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Children's Trade Book / Social Studies
  • Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! New York: Bright & Early Books, Random House, 1972 1997 BE-13
  • Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? New York: Random House 1973
  • The Shape of Me and Other Stuff New York: Bright & Early Books, Random House, 1973 1997 BE-16
  • There's a Wocket in My Pocket! New York: Bright & Early Books, Random House, 1974 1997 BE-18
  • Great Day for Up! New York: Bright & Early Books, Random House, 1974 - (Pictures by Quentin Blake) 1998 BE-19
  • Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1975. (Story and Pictures by Dr. Seuss) 1996 B-62
  • The Cat's Quizzer New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1976 1993 B-63
  • I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1978 1996 B-64
  • Oh Say Can You Say? New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1979 1996 B-65
  • Hunches in Bunches New York: Beginner Books, Random House, 1982 1996 B-Extra 6
    The Butter Battle Book New York: Random House, 1984

  • You're Only Old Once! : A Book for Obsolete Children New York: Random House, 1986.

  • I Am NOT Going to Get Up Today! New York: Random House, 1987 - (illustrated by James Stevenson) 1996 B-74

  • Oh, the Places You'll Go! New York: Random House, 1990
    Daisy-Head Mayzie New York: Beginner Books, Random House 1995 1997 B-Extra 7

  • Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. By Dr. Seuss with some help from Jack Prelutsky & Lane Smith (posthumous)

  • My Many Colored Days New York : Alfred A. Knopf: Distributed by Random House, 1996. by Dr. Seuss, paintings by Steve Johnson with Lou Fancher (posthumous)

  • Gerald McBoing-Boing New York: Random House, 2000 (posthumous)
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