Seuss Tales

Known the world over as "Dr. Seuss" Theodore Seuss Geisel earned his income through contributing cartoons and humorous pieces to weekly and monthly humor magazines. View the Seuss timeline.

Dr. Seuss got a Doctorate in literature from Oxford. While there he met Helen Palmer, who he wed in 1927. Dr. Seuss college years In 1927 he began working for a magazine called Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at the time. He was also submitting cartoons to Life, Vanity Fair and Liberty. In some of his works, he'd made reference to an insecticide called Flit. These references gained notice, and led to comic ads for Flit (Quick, Henry, the Flit!)

In 1936 he was crossing the Atlantic on a ship from France to New York. As he listened to the rhythm of the motors he began to doodle on bar napkins. He begins chanting words to the rhythm and found himself saying, "And that is a story that no one can beat, and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street." Nine months past as he tried to turn his thoughts into a children's book. He presented it to publishers, 43 of whom turned it down as being "too different." Once published it was considered by Seuss to be his literary breakthrough.

Over the next three years Seuss produced three more children's books, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, The King's Stilts, and Horton Hatches an Egg.

In May 1954 Seuss was supplied with a vocabulary list that was limited to 225 words that he had to transform into the primary textbook reader for children. Immediately, he became frustrated with the difficulty in writing such a basic children's book. He said, "I was desperate, so I decided to read the list once more. The first two words that rhymed would be the title of my book and I'd go from there. I found 'cat' and then I found 'hat'. That's genius you see!" After The Cat in the Hat he continued to write for children creating the memorable, Green Eggs and Ham, which is written in 50 vocabulary words. Dr. Seuss published over 40 children's books before his death in September 24th 1991.

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