I am sad. Sad I am. Dr. Seuss, the creator of . . . And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street and The Cat in the Hat died Tuesday night in California, leaving many students and professors at the University sad. "I grew up reading Dr. Seuss," Engineering junior Mina Surmeli said last night. "I've always loved him and I can't believe he's dead." "He's a piece of history that helped so many kids grow up and now he's dead," said Marylouise Geraghty, a Nursing sophomore. From the classic Green Eggs and Ham to the controversial The Lorax, Seuss's outrageous characters and kooky rhymes were what most students and some faculty members grew up with. During his 87 years, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated 47 books, which were sold in 18 different languages and which won a Pulitzer Prize for Children's Literature in 1984. "Dr. Seuss's appeal is strictly to children, because children see miracles around every corner," Senior English Lecturer Kristin Hunter Lattany said last night. "Dr. Seuss provided that for them. He was their Peter Pan." But Dr. Seuss books are more than just children's entertainment. Educators say the books are also used to teach children to read and to use their imaginations. "Children learn lots about books and how to read by listening to patterns," Education Professor Morton Botel said last night. "Dr. Seuss's ability to arrange words and put whimsical, funny storylines together delight children's senses." Botel also said Dr. Seuss was an innovator, attributing to him his own genre of writing: "whimsical poetry for children with wild imaginative characters." "Nobody else has written in that genre yet," Botel said. "When anyone else tries, it sounds artificial." While its creator may be dead, The Cat in the Hat and Bartholomew Cubbins are still alive, and students and faculty predict that generations to come will still be having green eggs and ham for breakfast. "Even though he's not alive, our kids and their kids after that will always read his books and love him just like we did," Surmeli said. And Botel said he thinks Dr. Seuss books will be around "300 years from now." But Dr. Seuss was more than just ridiculous rhyme and loopy cartoons. Some stories, like The Lorax with its ecological slant, also had messages for the children. Despite the controversy the book caused in logging towns, Dr. Seuss said The Lorax was his favorite book, the one he put his message into. "It was an icon for our group," Yost said. "It was a great, great book. At the end it gives a solution . . . Even though everything's destroyed, it can still grow back." Yost added that his group's newsletter is called The Lorax.Comments powered by Disqus
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