"I'm The Cat In The Hat, There's No Doubt About That!"

  • February 19, 2010
  • Jenna Maxwell
Read Across America (and Dr. Seuss' birthday) is coming up on March 2, so I thought it would be a good time to learn a little about the infamous book, "The Cat In The Hat!"  Dr. Seuss' beginner books were always a favorite of mine growing up and I passed my love of them onto my children.  His books are fun to read and kids of all ages love to read them!  This year for Read Across America, go all out to show your support of how important reading is for our children, by putting on a Dr. Seuss costume and reading The Cat In The Hat at your child's school, library or even a neighborhood reading group.  Don your big red and white striped hat and show the kids how much fun it is to read Dr. Seuss books!  Here's a little insight into how the book, "The Cat In The Hat" got it's start: In 1957 the country’s concern for children’s literacy prompted Theodore Seuss Geisel to write the first of his “Beginner Books”, The Cat In The Hat.  He answered the question of “why children can’t read” by creating fun and entertaining books that children wanted to read.  The challenge was in writing the book for Seuss.  His publisher supplied him with a list of 400 words that the children were learning in school.  He then told him to cut the list in half and to try and write an interesting enough book for children.  Nine months later Dr. Seuss finished The Cat In The Hat, which used 223 words that were on the list plus 13 words that weren’t.  The story is 1626 words in length and uses a vocabulary of only 236 distinct words, of which 54 occur once and 33 twice.  Only a single word – another – has three syllables, while 14 have two and the remaining 221 are monosyllabic.  The longest words are something and playthings.  Dr. Seuss claimed that the title for the book came from his desire to have the title rhyme and the first two suitable rhyming words that he could find from the list were “cat” and “hat”. The story is about a mischievous giant, talking Cat that transforms a dull, rainy afternoon into a magical and just messy enough adventure for two children.  Bringing with him two creatures named Thing One and Thing Two, the Cat performs all sorts of wacky tricks to amuse the children and turns their home into a chaotic playground. Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat also became a movie in 2003 produced by Universal Studios, DreamWorks Pictures and Imagine Entertainment.  Mike Myers starred in the title role of the Cat In The Hat.  And now you know the story behind the story.