For someone who had never read many children’s books at all before her own child showed up, I’ve become a Dr. Seuss fanatic. Something about the cadence, the crazy, made-up names (the man would go to any length to make a rhyme happen), the awesome message of tolerance and forbearance, and the cockeyed optimism in the face of greedy Grinches, howling Hakken Kraks, and Horton-taunting bullies, is never less than inspiring. Which is why this story about drag queen Martha Graham Cracker being disinvited to read a Dr. Seuss book to kids in an after-school program is so un-Seussian. Ironic, right?
The story has a happy ending, as you’ll see if you follow the link, but it got me thinking about how Dr. Seuss would have addressed some of the more controversial issues of our day. What would Horton say about gay marriage? How would the Cat in the Hat feel about the inability of our two major political parties to come to any kind of consensus about anything? What kind of lectures would the Sneetches deliver to all the haters still clinging to racial and ethnic prejudices?
One of my favorite lines from the Seuss canon is: “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.” If more of us operated with care and tact, it would be a much more friendly world, no?
What are you favorite Dr. Seuss quotes and characters?