CHICAGO – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today announced December’s selection for her Children’s Reading Club – How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small and hates Who-ville's holiday celebrations, plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.
“Reading with your children is one of the best ways to spend quality time with them while helping them develop critical skills like building a good vocabulary and active listening,” said the First Lady. “Reading with my daughters is one of my favorite things to do, and I hope that more parents can take part in reading to and with their own children.”
Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped millions of kids learn to read.
Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. Geisel gained national exposure when he won an advertising contract for an insecticide called Flit. He coined the phrase, “Quick, Henry, the Flit!” which became a popular expression. He published his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books. While Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading.
The First Lady launched the Children’s Reading Club literacy initiative in March of 2005, to encourage parents to read with their children. The club is a recommended reading list made up of books the First Lady and her daughters enjoy at home. The Children’s Reading Club applies to all children, but specifically targets children between the ages of seven and twelve. Each month’s book selection is featured on the First Lady’s website, www.illinois.gov/firstlady.