Early Literacy | Dec 06, 2017
It’s trivia time. Answer the following questions. Check your score to see how clever you really are….
Which Christmas movie is based on a children’s book that was first published 60 years ago?
Which story was published in 1960 on a $50 bet that an entire book could not be written using only 50 words?
What author combined his experience as a World War II veteran, cartoonist and writer to pen more than 40 children’s books?
Keep in mind that if your score is 0 you are in the company of thousands who have fabulous readiness to learn skills! A score of 1 means you are ‘in the know’. A score of 2 or 3 means that either you are a librarian or you’ve read “The Seuss, The Whole Seuss and Nothing but the Seuss” by Charles Cohen.
Let’s discover the answers to these little known and rarely asked questions.
Though still enjoyed by thousands of readers, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” children’s book has become a classic Christmas movie. I am reminded of the popularity of this story every December at my friends’ annual carolling party. It is our tradition to sing “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch” around the bonfire before our voices give out and our stomachs give in to food and treats indoors.
The character of the Grinch first appeared in 1955 as an eleven-line poem called "The Hoobub and the Grinch”. Two years later that same self-serving Grinch re-appeared, this time in the lives of the Whos down in Whoville. “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” was published by Random House in 1957 – 60 years ago.
Leo Geisel is best known by his penname Dr. Seuss. His ability to write with very few words was put to the test in 1960 by Bennet Ceff who bet Seuss $50 that he could not write an engaging children’s story using only 50 words. Seuss won the bet with the publication of “Green Eggs and Ham”.
Seuss began his career as a cartoonist and writer. During World War II he entered the army and created documentary films for soldiers. These life experiences flavoured his work as a children’s author and illustrator. Many of his children’s stories contain a gentle moral message using expressive cartoon images and playful words. Seuss wrote and illustrated more than 40 books for children. He wrote many more stories as well that were illustrated by others.
Dr. Seuss engaged early readers with storylines that bounced with rhythm, rhyme, repetition, and humour – elements we now recognize as highly effective in helping children learn to read. His stories were also infused with his passion for creative thinking, empathy, and kindness to others and the environment.
More than hundred years after Leo Geisel was born, the movie industry, the book industry and readers of all ages still feel the impact of this one man. We find ourselves inspired to say along with Seuss…
“The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you’ll go.” (Excerpt from “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut”)