The Cat in the Hat (kidsactivities.net)
As a child I loved listening to and reading Dr. Seuss books. I remember sitting around my teacher as a child listening to her read these books. She would read Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat In The Hat. I remember us actually making green eggs in ham in class. The ham was not actually green, it was pink, but the eggs were definitely green. I loved how the illustrations were drawn; they were like nothing you had ever seen before. These illustrations and the concept of the books were created by Theodor Seuss Geisel. The name “Dr. Seuss” came from his mothers maiden name Henrietta Seuss Geisel. Many of his ideas from books came from her as well as childhood memories. These childhood memories can be seen in most of his books. Seuss was born in 1904, ten years before WWI started. Though he was born in this era, he still managed to have a joyous childhood. Postwar, Peter Stearns would say this is the time when children were becoming bored. However, this was not the case for Seuss. He enjoyed his childhood and with that was able to create books for children to enjoy. He gave children something exciting to read. Suess’s books allowed children to use their imaginations. That what I enjoyed the most, I liked how I was able to use my imagination. It allowed my imagination to wonder to so many fantastic places. I enjoyed seeing the vibrant colors. I absolutely loved and adored Dr. Seuss.
Recently in class I read an article about the culture around parents buying toys for their children. The article pointed out that the mother of a child tends to buy them more toys and gifts, however the father tends to buy more expensive items. The mother always had the sacred mother-child bond, as most women were stay at home mothers (the article was written in the early 1900’s), while, the article argued, the fathers bought their children gifts as a way to create a similar bond.
Although this is not always the case now, as many more women are in the work force, I really see a parallel in my life. Before reading this article I never really thought about it, however my father was always the one that got me my more expensive toys. He bought me Nintendo 64 games, overpriced paraphernalia, and other such expensive items.
My dad would reward me for reading with video games. Every 5 or so books that I read, I would get a new Nintendo 64 game. Looking back on it, this reward system may have had a two-pronged outcome. It helped create the father-son bond, while furthering my knowledge and education. I read books and novels just for fun so much more when I was younger than I do now.
Some schools now reward their students for reading, giving them prizes, parties, and playing games. I really think that rewarding young students for reading helps motivate them to read more and more. While they are thinking about the short term rewards, they will really be benefiting from the long term one of broadening their education.
Nintendo 64 Game Console. Photo Credit: Scott Peak