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Sugar House Journal

Local Bookstore Celebrates Dr. Seuss

Apr 08, 2016 09h50 ● By Elizabeth Suggs

By Elizabeth Suggs | [email protected]

Sugar House - Theodor Seuss Geisel, more popularly known as Dr. Seuss, is best known for his children’s books “The Lorax,” “The Cat in The Hat,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and more. In an effort to express their respect, Barnes & Noble celebrated his 112th birthday with a Dr. Seuss sale and a Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration story time. 

“I can’t honestly say there was an unusual buzz [on his birthday],” Scott Whitaker, worker at Barnes & Noble, said. “But we did have a sale on Dr. Seuss items.” 

Whitaker explained that though there wasn’t a lot of commotion on his birthday, there was some interest in the Dr. Seuss archives that were released after his death. 

Dr. Seuss archives can be found at Barnes & Noble. Whitaker recommended “What Pet Should I Get?” Along with other archived stories of Dr. Seuss’, it was found two decades after his death in his home in La Jolla, California.

Like other stories by Dr. Seuss, “What Pet Should I Get?” centers on the idea of a child’s imagination in regard to a particular topic, like a pet. This story brings the two siblings from “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” arriving in a pet store. 

The imagination of creatures comes after the siblings have already encountered dogs, cats and birds. Imaginary animals, like the dogs, cats and birds are potential candidates for their future pet, but in the end the children decide their father would get angry and leave the pet store sans pet. 

“It’s kind of weird thinking about Dr. Seuss being a real person because reading his books as a kid, I thought of Dr. Seuss as more of a ghost author, similar to Nancy Drew books,” Whitney Smith, a Sugar House resident, said. “However, when I grew up I learned a bit about who he was and his wit and interesting commentary on society through his books. I genuinely think his books help children not only have imagination but think critically about how things are and how they should be.”

“Dr. Seuss did a really good job encapsulating life lessons,” Whitaker said.

For Smith, some of the stories are obvious in their message, like in “The Lorax” with the demise of the environment due to big-business globalization, but even “The Cat in The Hat” with its message of having both chaos and organization can be a clear message to children on the enjoyment of play and a happy, clean house. 

“I don’t know much about him as a person other than what he had to say in his books. I think I heard once that he was a socialist and had some different ideas on how society should be shaped,” Smith said. “I definitely think that his legacy comes through for me more in his books than who he was as a person. I loved his books growing up and still love them as an adult.”