Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Cat-alyst to life long reading

When Dr. Lisa was very small
She couldn't read
Well, hardly at all.

I can still feel the sharp edged bed frame against my back while I sat on my shag rug tearfully staring at a list of letters.  I remember the fear that I would NEVER understand reading.  At 6 years old-- never is an exhausting prospect. Mrs. Kafka was a seriously old school teacher (and also seriously old). In first grade "sight words" were a daily drill, and you couldn't read a book until you learned the words. I thought maybe I was blind and no one told me.  I couldn't vision how those letters connected no matter how hard I tried.  It was a shameful secret.

It took a Seussical intervention.  My Mom put the sight word list aside and joined me on the floor with Dr. Seuss books until my "sight" and my confidence was restored.  Poor Mrs. Kafka didn't know that reading was supposed to be fun.  Bet she was surprised at the transformation! (Thanks Mom)

Reading has since been my travel companion through an incredible life journey.  It kept me company when friends were too busy to play.   It transported me to distant and imaginary places. Reading gave me tips about boys and make up.   It held my hand through mountains of college and graduate school requirements. Reading empowered me to know "what to expect when you are expecting." Helped me to bond with my daughters when they were small enough to fit on my lap. 

Reading continues to bring me tears, laughter, imagination, activism, empathy, and creativity.
Now you understand my obsession with the good doctor, Theodor Geisel.  I celebrate his birthday for the entire month of March and invite you to join me.  This month recapture the magic of when you finally cracked the code:  Thank a teacher, eat green eggs and ham, read to a child, tuck into a good book, support Read Across America, hang out in a book store, write the next best book to be read. 
Re-experience the joy of words and stories. 

I tip my red & white striped top hat to all my reader friends!

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
How will you celebrate reading?


  1. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: I remember exactly where I sat in the public library--on the edge of the rug smack-dab in front of the Dr. Seuss books--the day I first realized I was READING. I had almost all of those brightly illustrated hardbacks memorized and thought I was reciting, but I turned two pages instead of one and kept reading the correct words. I remember flipping back and realizing what I'd done. Then I latched onto one of those lovely words and hunted throughout the book for places it repeated. I realized those symbols had meaning, and I'd finally figured it out. What an amazing feeling! Dr. Seuss helped reading click for me, too. All hail the good doctor!

    1. Today is gone. Today was fun.
      Tomorrow is another one.
      "Every day,
      from here to there,
      funny things are everywhere."
      One Fish Two Fish . . .

      Welcome to whoville Brandi! Who else has been Seussed?

  2. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and Great Day for UP! were my 2 absolute favorite books as a kid, until I moved on to Winnie the Pooh, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, E. B. White... I guess Seuss was my gateway drug. :) And I am so thankful to have kids who share my love of reading! I couldn't be prouder.