I am so over Dr. Seuss. Don’t get me wrong I love Theo Geisel’s books, most commonly known as Dr. Seuss – I read them as a child and have read them to my children but since the National Education Association adopted Geisel’s birthday, March 2nd as National Read Across America Day in 1998, the business of Dr. Seuss has slowly gone overboard. There are Seuss themed displays at department stores, click on Amazon and there’s a Seuss “store”, and catalogs come to my house selling even more Seuss novelties. Novelties is just another word for “crap my children will beg for, don’t need, and I will end up throwing out secretly, eventually.”
Our elementary school went to town with a Seuss themed week, every hallway bulletin board, a week-long list of daily themed activities, special “Stop, Drop & Seuss” reading times, an “oodles of noodles, oodles of fun” family night with food and fun, a book fair, and Thinga-ma-jogger 5K run/walk race. Everything was exceptionally cute, well planned, and well executed. It was just SO much!! Remembering to wear class shirts for field trips can stress me out – where is the class shirt and will we remember in the morning to put it on? Remembering stripes on Monday, green on Tuesday, mustaches, PJs, etc. each and every day is a lot of this momma!
My kids now have celebrated Dr. Seuss day (or week) as they call it a few years in a row, enough so that they cannot fathom that Dr. Seuss day was not a “holiday” when I was in school and my oldest asks why Dr. Seuss didn’t write any “older” kid books. I find myself explaining that while Dr. Seuss was incredibly prolific, publishing 46 children’s books, he is not the only high-volume children’s author and illustrator that we could be celebrating with National Read Across America Day, or on the everyday. Yep, I said it; we can celebrate reading every day not just on March 2nd. I remember Steven Kellogg visiting my elementary school as a child and being awed by his artwork and story-telling. Kellogg has written over 46 children’s books himself and illustrated over 40 other children’s books. Jan Brett also an abundant author/illustrator has penned over 30 stories and illustrated more. Brett actively visits schools and libraries sharing her “world” with children. These are just two of numerous celebrated children’s literature writers. Next year instead of a week of Seuss, I’d love a day of Seuss and a day of Kellogg and a day of Brett and a day of [insert name], focused more on reading and less on wearing the correct costume to school. End rant.
None of this is to say what our school did for the week was not fabulous, it really was. I especially love, love, loved the 5K race they organized. I’ve written in the past how I adore kid friendly races. We routinely run 5K races with our two sons but they are often in the small minority of racers under age 15. Running with a couple hundred under 15 year olds changes the feel of the race, seeing the littles sprint past me, inspires me, and seeing their effort put forth to finish inspires me too. Mostly the pure joy kids have when they run, when they race makes me smile too, because it is infectious. I may never be as fast as my boys but watching them best me couldn’t make me prouder; my #1 took home a second place age group medal with a 23:12 min race.
Happy belated National Read Across America Day! And thanks for a great Thinga-ma-jogger race this weekend; I look forward to next year’s race!