A Cat, A Hat, and A Star Bellied Sneetch

By: Lauren Keeling
By: Lauren Keeling

You may not know Theodore Geisel, but EVERYONE knows Dr. Seuss. In this week's blog, Lauren Keeling tells you why reading is right at the top of her list of life's most important things.

When I was probably 8 or 9, I gave a speech about Dr. Seuss.  The very first line, which I will likely remember for the rest of my life, went just like this...

"You may not know Theodore Geisel, but EVERYONE knows Dr. Seuss."  In my opinion, it is the best speech ever written.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)  I even won first place with it, if I remember correctly.

I grew up in a house of readers, where books littered every corner and rested on every bedside.  Today, I read every day, but not for pleasure.  We, as a nation, are inundated with news and articles and emails and texts and Tweets and whatever else the electronic wizards whip up to feed our brains.  Pleasure reading just isn't as easy to do as it was, say, when I was first learning.

Nowadays, when I get it, my pleasure reading comes in the form of a 3-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old.  If Mad, Kiersten and Taylor aren't reading to each other, they're reading to me or Jim, a stuffed animal, the wall, Charley and Winnie...really, whoever and whatever they can nail down for a few moments gets a dramatic rendition of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

It's one of my favorite things to do with the girls because it was one of my favorite things growing up.  I remember my parents reading me books like The Boxcar Children and the American Girl stories, and I remember transitioning into a reader myself, my parents listening as I rambled on.  I always try to be available for story time when the girls want to have one.

My husband even likes story time- he reads to me every now and then from a Max Lucado book...(or American Hunter, haha).  But listening to him read to me is such a nice change.  It's one of the best "moments" we have...I feel really close to him when I can sit in his chair and listen to his voice.

So for me, Dr. Seuss's birthday is as much a national holiday as President's Day.  It warms my heart to see 60 some parents show up to read Horton Hears a Who for the thousandth time to dozens of kids.  I went to Williamstown Elementary on Dr. Seuss's birthday to read The Sneetches...and I will go every year that they will have me.  The lessons we learn from books like that are incredible- mostly because we don't even know we're learning while we're listening.

I've read to nearly a dozen schools this year- it never gets old...and I will continue to read to dozens more.

I just want kids to get excited and know that fun reading, the good kind where you get lost for hours in what's written on the pages in front of you, never gets old.  And that they will never be too old to enjoy a good book.

Right now, I'm working my way through Marley & Me (because Winnie just might be giving him a run for his money in the World's Worst Dog race) for the second time...

If you know of a good book, let me know!  Isn't that what the comment section is for?

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

 Lauren K.

P.S. Attached, (hopefully) are some pictures from WES of me, the Star-Bellied Sneetches, Too Many Daves...and of course, Mrs. Pam Baker.  Thanks guys!


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