Sunday, July 11, 2010

Did you know Dr. Seuss was a "Lefty"? *

"Most people know Dr. Seuss as the man behind 'The Cat in the Hat.' But how many know that 'Yertle the Turtle' was modeled after Hitler--or that Dr. Seuss created WWII political cartoons that denounced racism, isolationism and other issues of the day. 'The Political Dr. Seuss' reveals how popular children's author Theodor Geisel advocated social change, teaching generations of children not only how to be better readers, but better people as well." -PBS
A few years ago when i was getting ready to become a father for the first time i started to look more closely at the children's books i knew we would soon be reading, and of course Dr. Seuss was one author at the top of our list. At around the same time PBS aired "The Political Dr. Seuss" on their [i]ndependent Lens series, Although i had some memory of some slightly political themes that may have been touched upon in his books, i really had no idea of how deep his political roots were, and really how overt the statements. Although he had a couple of political missteps in his career, my admiration of his body of work went to an entirely new level.

I've found the documentary on Google video (with a few minutes cut off the end), so you can check it out below, if you don't buy it directly from its producers.

The Lorax
Dr. Seuss Enterprises / Random House

(August 1, 1971)
Still an environmental warning over three decades after its publication, The Lorax (1971) is an allegory on the dangers of deforestation, industrial pollution, and corporate greed. Another Seuss book about how individuals can make a difference, The Lorax was his personal favorite.

You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.
--The Lorax
Theodor “Ted” Seuss Geisel is an incredible hero. I highly recommend this film. Check out more about it on the PBS site where they discuss the film, Dr. Seuss, his early life, political cartooning and more

*recycled old post (3/8/09) while i'm in Dublin

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