I’m about to make a mom confession—one that brought wide-eyed gasps when I shared it with a group of friends recently. Here it goes: I have no idea what my son’s first word was. There. I said it. Let the judgment commence.
Honestly, it was like an instantaneous explosion of vocabulary all at once. So fast that I really couldn’t keep up with which word came first. What I do know, however, is that the word fish was in heavy rotation from the very beginning. So were the words egg and waffle. Really, a lot of breakfast foods now that I think of it . . .
Why am I confessing this now? Well, for a very important and coincidental reason. One of my kid’s first words was fish because Dr. Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish taught him that word (with a little help from Dada in the reading department)—and today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Today is also Read Across America Day—an annual reading motivation and awareness program that encourages kids across the country to celebrate reading in honor of the beloved children’s author.
And now, I have to make another confession. As a child, I never really loved Dr. Seuss books the way I loved, say, The Berenstain Bears. I’m obviously in the minority, but having a child of my own has given me a reason to revisit the wonderful, wacky world of Seuss—and I have to say, I kind of dig it now. From the beginner books to the more tongue twisting tales like If I Ran the Zoo, the rhyming rhythms are perfect for a late-night bed time routine to lull even the most unbridled two year old to snooze town.
In honor of this special occasion, I’d like to share our family’s top five favorite Dr. Seuss books—books sure to teach any kid his or her first word . . . even if you don’t remember it later.
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Obviously a personal favorite, this book has no real story or plot, but it has loads of fun words (both real and made up) as well as tons of colors.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This book took on a special meaning in our family when my mother passed down my brother’s and my well-worn copy from the 80s. Pro Tip: Kids also love this book when it’s not Christmas-time.
The Sneetches and Other Stories
Honestly, this is one of the wackier ones (in my opinion), but it teaches a lesson about not discriminating against people who are different from we are. Who can argue with that?!
What Pet Should I Get
Published just last year, this was one of Dr. Seuss’s never-before-seen books that had been filed away in his home for years. Definitely worth checking out!
The Berenstain Bears and The Truth
A great tale about the benefits of telling the truth.
OK, that last one is not a Dr. Seuss book, but my six-year-old self would be really mad if I didn’t at least mention it.
For more information about Read Across America Day and fun activities to encourage reading with your family, visit the RAAD website.
“The more that you read. The more things you will know.
The more that you learn. The more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss