Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Suess!

By Elizabeth Mowers

Did you know today is Dr. Suess' birthday? I only know this because they celebrate his birthday at my children's school like it is a holiday. All the children dress up as characters from the books. The school cafeteria serves green eggs and ham. Gross, yet fun.

Not a picture of my children but they sure are cute.

As some of you may already remember, I teach ESL (English as a second language) online. All of my students live in China and have been impacted by the recent coronavirus outbreak.

With their limited English, they talk to me about what they do all day to pass the time. I'm always happy when they show me the latest books they are reading. Many times I already know the book because I've read it! They are always so happy when I can ask them specific questions about the characters and story, because it is a book I've once read and loved too.

Carmen (12) and her family begin each day by jumping rope to stay fit and burn off energy. She has shown me stacks of Chinese comic books with a teenage girl protagonist. I asked if she likes to write her own comic books. She laughed shyly and said no. Maybe now is the time to start, Carmen!

Andy (11) has been reading autobiographies about Stan Lee (the comic book creator) and Bear Grylls (the adventurer/survivalist instructor). I hadn't read any of the books he showed me, but I knew both celebrities. Andy and I took a lovely detour from the lesson to discuss his favorite superheros.

Bear Grylls
Ethan (6) has more energy than a puppy dog and the recent events have been hard on him. He is normally an energetic student, but recently, it is all he can do to stay in front of the camera for our classes. We take a lot of dance breaks and do a lot of gross motor activities for our lessons, but it is still hard to reign him in. His sweet mother apologizes at the end of every class, but it doesn't bother me at all. He's a thoroughbred who needs to RUN! I get it!

He did show me some of the books he is reading including books by Mo Willems. I love reading Mo Willems' books to my own children and knew every book Ethan showed me. He prefers books with the Pigeon character.

My favorite student, Jane (8), has been working through a series of books by Roald Dahl. Last week she proudly showed me the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY book she is reading. She also showed me tiny little desserts she made out of Playdoh. Like most art projects Jane shows me, I could tell she took great care to get the tiniest details right.

Even though life is extremely taxing for my students right now, I'm glad to know they are spending their time reading. I saw a recent meme that read "Reading gives you a place to go when there is nowhere to go." This is true for my dear students.

Speaking of reading, my new book WHERE THE HEART MAY LEAD comes out this June. The cover just came out a couple weeks ago. Isn't it beautiful?

Love wasn't worth the risk...
Until she met him.

Paige Cartman's quest to protect her family has brought her to the idyllic lakeside town of Roseley. Revealing her old life to anyone - especially charismatic pilot, Charlie Stillwater - could put others in jeopardy. Charlie is falling fast for warmhearted Paige, but her secrecy reminds him of another's betrayal. Can Paige finally leave her shadowed past behind and trust that love has led her home?

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  1. Your students sound like they're really enjoying their reading. LOVE the new cover! Great colors, and I love the pose.

  2. As the daughter of a children's literature specialist-librarian at a publishing house, I love this post. I also love your new book title and cover. All the best with it!

    1. Thanks, Virginia! I love children's literature too:-)

  3. Books give you places to go.. So true.. Each one of these wonderful children is a story to unfold. Thanks for sharing their stories with us!


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