Feb 28, 2007
On March 1, 1957, Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat was first published in the United States. Since that time it has become a beloved classic, selling millions of copies in many languages world wide.
The Cat in the Hat was written in response to publications such as "Why Do Students Bog Down on the First R?" by John Hersey and "Why Johnny Can’t Read and What You Can Do About It" by Rudolph Flesch which blamed childre's poor literacy skills on dull and uninspiring books such as Dick and Jane. Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), who was already well known for his illustrations, took up the challenge to create a book that would capture the imagination as well as introduce basic vocabulary. He succeeded, using only 236 words. The Cat in the Hat was an instant success, drawing acclaim from critics and readers alike. Today the book is still a favorite with children and adults, and the mischievous Cat can be found in several other Seuss books, and most recently as the star of the Cat in the Hat movie.
* For more information and a list of library books, see our March 2007 entry for the Children's Literature blog.