Quotation #4052

About This Quote


Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name of Dr. Seuss, is one of the most beloved children's authors of all time; for many people, a Dr. Seuss book like Green Eggs and Ham or Hop on Pop was the first book they ever learned how to read. Using humorous rhymes, delightful illustrations, and a wild imagination, Dr. Seuss was perhaps the first author to make reading fun, both for kids and for their parents and teachers. Dr. Seuss's books also teach important lessons, such as the importance of treating everyone equally, the benefits of being open-minded, and the amazing things you can achieve if you believe in yourself. What's more, unbeknownst to the children who read them, many of Dr. Seuss's books were actually subtle satires of political events. Learn the fascinating back-stories of 25 memorable Dr. Seuss quotes. [include-posts id="57488" count="1"] About This Quote: Here’s another motivational Dr. Seuss quote, this one from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! (1978). In his typical rhyming fashion, Seuss tells kids that they will be able to increase their knowledge and expand their world by reading more. In the context of the book, the quote is spoken by Seuss’s beloved Cat in the Hat character, who is explaining to the character Young Cat the joys of reading (with both eyes open). [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57478" count="2"] About This Quote: In this tongue-in-cheek statement (quoted in the 1997 book Of Sneetches and Whos and the Good Dr. Seuss: Essays on the Writings and Life of Theodor Geisel by Thomas Fensch), Dr. Seuss is explaining why he doesn’t write for adults: they are just obsolete, or out-of-date, children. However, Seuss did write one bestselling book for adults, which was published in 1986. Appropriately, the book was titled You’re Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="4030" count="3"] About This Quote: This inspirational quote is from Oh, the Places You’ll Go (1990), the last book published before Seuss’s death in 1991. The quote is an example of the motivational aspect of Seuss’s work: he is encouraging you (the reader) to take control over your own destiny, assuring you that you have what it takes to decide your fate. Oh, the Places You’ll go is a popular gift for high school and college graduates, selling about 300,000 copies annually, with sales spiking every spring when graduation season rolls around. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="8289" count="4"] About This Quote: Here is a quote from one of Seuss’s most famous works, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, first published in 1957. This quote is from the point in the story when the grouchy Grinch character finally realizes the true meaning of Christmas: loving and living in harmony with your fellow neighbor. While How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a funny, heartwarming tale, it is also an attack on the commercialization of Christmas. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="8293" count="5"] About This Quote: An excerpt from The Lorax (1971), these famous words of Dr. Seuss, while written in the context of a fictional story, encourage young readers to care about saving the environment. In this fable, a boy who lives in a polluted town and visits an old man named the Once-ler. The Once-ler tells the story of the Lorax, a mysterious creature who ”speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” The boy learns that the town became so polluted because the Once-ler did not listen when the Lorax warned him not to cut down all the trees. The above quote is a warning to the little boy from the Once-ler, who finally understands the significance of what the Lorax was trying to express. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57482" count="6"] About This Quote: Much of Dr. Seuss’s work is just plain silly. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. With this quote, Seuss is saying that being silly with kids — as he is in his books — is a good thing because it makes them think and helps them cultivate a sense of humor. These words of Seuss’s were quoted by Larry Chang in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006). [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57485" count="7"] About This Quote: This quote is a refrain from Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who!, first published in 1954. These words urge the reader to speak up for all people, even if those who are invisible in the community. Although it is, on one hand, a clever, sweet, rhyming story for kids, like many other Dr. Seuss books, Horton Hears a Who! is also fable with a deeper meaning –  this story is meant to symbolize America’s post-war occupation of Japan. It tells the story of Horton, a jungle elephant who discovers a microscopic community of “Whos” living in a planet that is too small to see. After hearing their voices, Horton vows to protect them, but is imprisoned in a cage by the other animals who ridicule his argument that “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” The Whos are finally able to convince the other animals of their existence by raising their voices loud enough for all the jungle to hear them. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57487" count="8"] About This Quote: This Yertle the Turtle (1958) quote perhaps has the darkest back-story among all of these memorable Dr. Seuss quotes: it’s about Hitler. Literally, these are the words of a turtle, who, along with all his fellow turtles in the pond, is tired of being piled up and stepped on by King Yertle so that he can have a better view. Figuratively, it means that everyone, even those “on the bottom” of society, should have equal rights. Specifically, Seuss stated that the story is an allegory for Hitler’s despotic regime. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57476" count="9"] About This Quote: Seuss is referring to children, of course. While he left the child-making to other folks (Dr. Seuss never had any children of his own), his whole life was devoted to “amusing” children with his books. This quip was quoted in Enter, Conversing (1962) by Clifton Fadiman. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57489" count="10"] About This Quote: This quote is from Dr. Seuss’s critically acclaimed 1960 picture book, Green Eggs and Ham. One of the quintessential Dr. Seuss books, Green Eggs and Ham incorporates humor, rhymes, and Seuss’s trademark illustrations, all for the purpose of entertaining young kids and helping them learn how to read. The book only contains a total of 50 words, none of them exceeding five letters except for the word “anywhere.” In Green Eggs and Ham,  a character named “Sam I Am” tries to convince his friend to try a dish called “green eggs and ham,” though his friend is very resistant to the idea, as he expresses in the above quote. Finally, his friend tries it and discovers that he actually likes this strange dish! The moral of the story here is to be open to trying new things, because you just might like them. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57497" count="11"] About This Quote: This quote from Seuss’s 1957 children’s book, The Cat in the Hat, is the first introduction of Seuss’s wacky Cat in the Hat character, who would go on to appear in five more Dr. Seuss books. Seuss wrote the book, about an anthropomorphic cat who entertains two bored latchkey kids on a rainy afternoon, as an antidote to the existing “Dick and Jane” reading primers for kids, which he thought were too boring to grab kids’ interest. At the prompting of William Ellsworth Spaulding, who worked for the educational publisher Houghton Mifflin, Seuss set about in the mid-1950s to write a book containing 225 vocabulary words every 6-year-old should know and “a story that first graders can’t put down.” The rest, as they say, is history. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57499" count="12"] About This Quote: Dr. Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960), a simple, rhyming story about a boy and a girl and all their fun pets, is the source of this quote. The quote, which doesn’t really reference anything in particular other than the kids’ fun life with their wacky pets, is repeated as a refrain several times throughout the book. However, the quote could be used to describe the world of Dr. Seuss books in general, in which otherwise boring activities, like counting fish or learning colors, are made fun through the use of humor and imaginative scenarios. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57500" count="13"] About This Quote: The Butter Battle Book, the source of this Dr. Seuss quote, which might seem like just another of Seuss’s zany children’s books on the first read, is actually a satirical anti-war book about the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. Published in 1984, the picture book tells the story of the Zooks and the Yooks, who live on opposite sides of a wall that bears some resemblance to the real-life Berlin Wall. The two peoples hate each other for a very silly reason — they disagree on whether it is better to eat bread butter-side up or butter-side down — and are hell-bent on destroying each other. This quote is about one of many fantastical weapons thought up by the Zooks with the intent of silencing the Yooks for good … only for the Yooks to come up with an even more powerful weapon, a gun called the Kick-a-Poo Kid loaded with Poop-a-Doo powder. If you look past the silly names, the deeper message of The Butter Battle Book becomes clear. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57502" count="14"] About This Quote: Seuss’s 1955 illustrated children’s book On Beyond Zebra! is the source of this quote. The narrator of the story of a narrator invents 26 new letters to come after the letter “Z,” each accompanied by an imaginary animal, such as a “Floob-Boober-Bab-Boober-Bubs” for the new letter “Floob,” and “Miss Fuddle-dee-Duddle” for the new letter “Fuddle.” This quote, and the idea of the book in general, encourage young readers to stretch their imaginations and think outside of the box. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57507" count="15"] About This Quote: Happy Birthday to You!, a 1959 Seuss book, is the origin for this quotation. The book has very little terms of plot, but much in the way of imagination and fun. Happy Birthday to You! is written in the second-person, and is about an amazing party the Birthday Bird from the land of Katroo throws for your special day. After all the food, gifts, and activities are described in detail, taking the reader from morning till night, the book ends with this memorable quote, intended to motivate the reader and build his or her self-esteem. In other words, this is the perfect bedtime story to read to your young child on his or her birthday. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57509" count="16"] About This Quote: Horton the Elephant, the same character from Horton Hears a Who, is the speaker of this quote from Horton Hatches the Egg. The quote is about the importance of keeping your word. Horton is asked by Mayzie the bird to sit on her egg in a nest perched atop a tall tree while she takes a break … a “break” which consists of permanently moving to Palm Beach. As in Horton Hears a Who, Horton is ridiculed for doing the right thing — this time, it’s for not leaving the nest, even after it becomes clear that the mother isn’t coming back. In the end, the egg is hatched and out comes a baby “elephant-bird” that is a cross between Mayzie and Horton. Horton is rewarded for keeping his word by getting to go back to the jungle with his new baby. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57510" count="17"] About This Quote: This one’s from Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (1975). In this story, a child who is feeling down in the dumps is cheered up by an old man who tells him about all of the outrageous troubles other people have and that he’s lucky not to have, such as the “pants-eating plants” that must be endured by the children who live in the forests of France. This quote exemplifies the main lesson of the book, which is that you should be grateful for the life you have — because things could always be a whole lot worse. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57511" count="18"] About This Quote: This Hop on Pop (1963) quote is an example of the simple, short poems Dr. Seuss used to teach phonics to children. Hop on Pop is subtitled ”The Simplest Seuss for Youngest Use” and can be used to teach children as young as 3 or 4 how to read. On Publishers Weekly’s 2001 list of the all-time best-selling hardcover books for children, Hop on Pop ranked 16th. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57512" count="19"] About This Quote: It has often been rumored that this quote and the 1972 Dr. Seuss book from which it comes, Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!, are really about Richard Nixon. However, since the book came out only two months after the Watergate scandal, this is unlikely. That said, Seuss was aware of how the book, a beginning-reader book about a child who won’t go to bed, paralleled the public sentiment at the time that Nixon should “go now!” In 1974, he sent an edited version of the book’s text, with all instances of “Marvin K. Mooney” crossed out and replaced with “Richard M. Nixon.” He sent this version to his friend Art Buchwald at the Washington Post, and the Post published “Richard M. Nixon Will You Please Go Now!” with Seuss’s consent on July 30, 1974. President Nixon resigned from office ten days later. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57517" count="20"] About This Quote: This quote and the 1950 Dr. Seuss book it’s from, If I Ran the Zoo, celebrate the limitlessness of a child’s imagination: the “animals” listed are the exotic (and, technically, non-existent) creatures the main character of the book would use to fill the zoo, if he were to run it. You may recognize the reference to the imaginary land of “Katroo” from another Seuss favorite, Happy Birthday to You!  If I Ran the Zoo is often recognized for containing the first recorded usage of the word “nerd.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="8295" count="21"] About This Quote: The only bestselling book Dr. Seuss ever wrote for adults, You’re Only Old Once! A Book for Obsolete Children, is the source of this Seuss quote. In this book, released on Dr. Seuss’s 82nd birthday, Seuss deals with the very adult subject matter of aging all the stressful medical tests that come with it, employing his characteristic wit and illustrations. Seuss wrote the book after enduring a series of medical tests. The above quote is the concluding line of You’re Only Old Once!, thus closing the book on a humorous, optimistic note. While the subject matter is undoubtedly a bit darker than that of the average Dr. Seuss book, by approaching the topic with humor, Seuss again proves that laughter is the best medicine for whatever ails you, no matter how old you are. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57518" count="22"] About This Quote: This Dr. Seuss quote is significant because it is from his first book and the book that would launch his extraordinary career, And to Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street. The book is about a little boy who had an uneventful walk home from school on Mulberry Street, but wants to tell a crazy story to impress his dad, so he dreams up all of these incredible sights that he will claim to have seen on Mulberry Street, such as an elephant pulling a brass band. The book was initially rejected by more than 40 different publishers, and at one point, Seuss planned to burn the manuscript. Then Seuss had a chance encounter in New York City with a friend who worked in the children’s department of the publisher Vanguard Press. In 1937, Vanguard published the book to rave reviews, and Seuss was catapulted into an amazing career. Another fun fact about this quote and book: Mulberry Street is an actual street in Seuss’s hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57519" count="23"] About This Quote: The above Dr. Seuss quote is not an excerpt from one of his books, but a statement he made in real life. Seuss is quoted as having said this in a couple different books, including Looking Tall by Standing Next to Short People, Other Techniques for Managing a Law Firm (2007) by H. Edward Wesemann and The Lucky One (2012). While this wise quote could easily be applied to life in general, it is also emblematic of Seuss’s work, most of which seemed to address the complicated question of “How do you get children excited about learning to read?” with the simple answer of “Write a fun story that they will want to read.” [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57524" count="24"] About This Quote: This quote is from The Sneetches and Other Stories, a collection of four stories by Dr. Seuss published in 1961. The quote describes the difference between Star-Belly Sneetches and Plain-Belly Sneetches, a difference, which, while insignificant, is used as a pretext in the story for Star-Belly Sneetches to discriminate against Plain-Belly Sneetches. The Sneetches teaches children the important lesson that it is wrong to discriminate against a group of people because they are different from you; Dr. Seuss reportedly wrote the book to satirize discrimination, and specifically, to express his contempt for antisemitism. [/include-posts] [include-posts id="57525" count="25"] About This Quote: This quote comes from a February 1987 interview of Dr. Seuss by David Sheff of Parenting Magazine. This was Seuss’s reply to the question, “What do children want in a book?” Perhaps the most important lesson we have learned from Dr. Seuss is summed up by this quote: kids are not that different from adults when it comes to reading. Kids want books that are both challenging and funny, the same way adults do. By respecting children and treating them like they are actual people, rather than talking down to them, Dr. Seuss helped teach generations of children how to read. This quote was once invoked by George W. Bush in public comments he made regarding his No Child Left Behind Act. However, the President left out the context that the quote was about books, thereby giving the misleading impression that Seuss was saying that children want the same things that adults want in general. (Something tells me that if Seuss were alive in the 2000s, he might have substituted another president’s name for Marvin K. Mooney’s …) [/include-posts]