On March 1, 1957, Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat was first published in the United States. Since that time it has become a beloved classic, selling millions of copies in many languages world wide.
The Cat in the Hat was written in response to publications such as “Why Do Students Bog Down on the First R?” by John Hersey and “Why Johnny Can’t Read and What You Can Do About It” by Rudolph Flesch which blamed children’s poor literacy skills on dull and uninspiring books such as Dick and Jane. Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), who was already well known for his illustrations, took up the challenge to create a book that would capture the imagination as well as introduce basic vocabulary. He succeeded, using only 236 words. The Cat in the Hat was an instant success, drawing acclaim from critics and readers alike. Today the book is still a favorite with children and adults, and the mischievous Cat can be found in several other Seuss books, and most recently as the star of the Cat in the Hat movie.
*Information from http://www.seussville.com/CITH_50th/
This month, take some time to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Cat by participating in one of these events:
Read Across America Day (March 2, 2007) Sponsored by the National Education Association, this year The Cat in the Hat will be read aloud in schools, libraries, and bookstores across the nation. Visit http://www.seussville.com/CITH_50th/events/index.html to learn about events that will be taking place in your home state, and visit the NEA’s Read Across America webpage for more information and ideas.
Project 236. (Jan 9- May 1, 2007) Sponsored by Random House, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and First Book, Project 236 is a national literacy initiative launched in honor of The Cat in the Hat. There are two ways to participate:
– Purchase a Dr. Seuss book. For every Random House Dr. Seuss book purchased, Random House will donate one brand new children’s book (up to one million books!) to First Book.
– Send a birthday card to the Cat in the Hat. For every birthday card received Random House will donate one brand new children’s book to First Book.
Rules and directions can be found at http://www.seussville.com/CITH_50th/rules.html.
For more information on First Book and Project 236, visit The Cat in the Hat Party.
Read Dr. Seuss! The following titles featuring the Cat in the Hat are available at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign library:
The Cat in the Hat. 1957.
Two children sitting at home on a rainy day are visited by the Cat in the Hat, who shows them some tricks and games.
[Education S-Collection: SE.G27C]
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back! 1958.
The trick-playing cat of “The Cat in the Hat” makes a return visit to Sally and her brother, wreaking havoc and then restoring order in a most ingenious manner.
[Education Storage: SE.G27CA]
The Cat in the Hat’s Great Big Flap Book. 1999.
Over 70 flaps inspired by Dr. Seuss’s best known works.
[Rare Book & Manuscript Library: Q.SE. G27cat]
The Cat in the Hat Song Book. 1967.
Featuring Let us all sing, Super-supper, My uncle Terwilliger waltzes with bears, In my bureau drawer, The no laugh race, Plinker plunker, Strummer zummer, Beeper booper, Hurry hurry hurry, Cry a pint, Ah-a-a- a-a-a-h, I can figure figures, Somebody stole my hoo-to foo-to boo-to bah!, Rainy day in Utica, N.Y., Lullaby for Mr. Benjamin B. Bicklebaum, Happy birthday to little Sally Spingel Spungel Sporn, My uncle Terwilliger likes to pat, Yawn song, The left-sock thievers, Drummers drumming, Party parting.
[Education Storage: Q.S. 782.42 G277c]
The Cat’s Quizzer: Are You Smarter Than the Cat in the Hat? 1993.
The Cat in the Hat plays quiz master by challenging the reader with both entertaining and educational questions such as “Are freckles catching?” and “How old do you have to be to drive a car?”
[Education Storage: S. 031.02 G27C]
I Can Read With My Eyes Shut. 1978.
The Cat in the Hat takes Young Cat in tow to show him the fun he can get out of reading.
[Education S-Collection: SE. G27ic]
Cattus Pettasatus. 2000.
A Latin translation of The Cat in the Hat. Includes a Latin-English glossary and a note on the verse form and rhythm.
[Uni High Fiction: Fiction Se81c:L]
El Gato Ensombrerado. 1995.
The Cat in the Hat in English and Spanish.
[Education S-Collection: SE. G27i:SP]
For more books by Dr. Seuss, enter “Seuss, Dr.” into an author search in the UIUC online catalog.