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Weekly Geek #24

November 12, 2008

Weekly Geek 24!

1. Choose a writer you like.

2. Using resources such as Wikipedia, the author’s website, whatever you can find, make a list of interesting facts about the author.

3. Post your fun facts list in your blog, maybe with a photo of the writer, a collage of his or her books, whatever you want.

4. Come sign the Mr Linky below with the url to your fun facts post.

5. As you run into (or deliberately seek out) other Weekly Geeks’ lists, add links to your post for authors you like or authors you think your readers are interested in.

Theodore Seuss Geisel

  • born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Mass
  • his mother used to soothe him into sleep by reciting rhymes she remembered from her childhood
  • cartoonist for Dartmouth’s humor magazine until he was banned from participating following getting caught throwing a party during Prohibition. He continued to contribute under the pen name, Seuss.
  • Also wrote as Theo LeSeig (Geisel backwards) but Dr. Seuss became his pen name for when he both wrote and illustrated
  • made advertising his career during the Great Depression, not writing and then became a propagandist for the government during WWII,  which he was fully and actively supporting
  • refused to write his books with any one moral in mind, saying “kids can see a moral coming a mile away” but acknowledged that morals exist in each story
  • He was challenged to write a book using only 220 words that children could read. The words were chosen for him and he had to work them in to a story, which became The Cat in the Hat*
  • He chose the bright colors used in the illustrations based on his experience with primary colors in advertising*
  • “Random House publisher Bennett Cerf was the mastermind behind the sharing agreement with Houghton Mifflin and perhaps the most influential figure in Ted’s early publishing career. It was he who wagered that Ted couldn’t write a book using 50 words or less, prompting Ted to write Green Eggs and Ham. Cerf had the vision to see that Ted was going to turn the children’s book industry upside down, and he definitely wanted to be a part of it, so he, along with his wife Phyllis, Ted, and Helen, created Random House’s Beginner Books division, one of the most innovative and successful ventures in children’s publishing.” from NEA’s Read Across America site.

*I can’t find verification of this, it’s a story I remember from when I read Mr Geisel and Dr Seuss years ago, which by the way is a wonderful, fascinating biography of a man that made many of us the readers we are. 19716854

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