Theodore Geisel's (aka Dr. Seuss) biography is very interesting. Initially, Mr. Geisel made his living in advertising. He also drew political cartoons during World War II that expressed solidarity with persecuted people both abroad and in America. He turned to writing children's books the same year that his (first) wife Helen learned that she could not have children. Dr. Seuss's stories were not only fanciful, funny, and good starts for literacy. Many of them had powerful messages about social justice. He defended creatures who suffered from discrimination and celebrated the power of the littlest ones when they stood up for what was right. It's hard not to read this passage from "Yertle the Turtle" and not think about what is happening all across the Middle East today:
That plain little turtle below in the stack, That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack Decided he’d taken enough. And he had. And that plain little lad got a little bit mad And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing. He burped! And his burp shook the throne of the king!
When I was a wee lass, I loved hearing the silly words and looking at the pictures of strange critters in weird landscapes and the chaos that sometimes ensued, whether environmental destruction, home wrecking by a cat in a hat, or a plate of green eggs and ham served with a fox in a box. His efforts fostered a love of books in me, and perhaps also planted a small seed of righteous indignation that has blossomed into a full-time commitment to working for equality and fairness for all. Here or there, I'm so glad that Dr. Seuss is available almost everywhere.
Thanks, Dr. Seuss. I owe you.