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La Jolla's Dr. Seuss leaves legacy of literacy

Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-22 11:10:02-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Legendary children’s author and La Jolla resident Dr. Ted Geisel left a legacy of literacy as Dr. Seuss.

“We probably have something like 20,000 drawings and sketches,” said UC San Diego director of special collections and archives Lynda Claassen.

Claassen maintains the material donated to the author’s namesake Geisel Library. She said, once upon a time, in a world of boring Dick and Jane readers... a subversive cat came on scene... in that unmistakable red and white hat.

“Bit of an anarchist perhaps but it made children use their imagination more.”

Geisel laid out a road map to improve literacy, according to Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss enterprises.

Important takeaways from Dr. Seuss books are lessons of simple, moral guidance for children. The Sneetches are about anti-discrimination while the Grinch is about having a big heart.

“He was making sure the pictures could tell the story. And then the anticipation of the next word.”

Geisel’s birthday, Mar. 2, is now celebrated as Read Across America Day. In 2020, Geisel would have been 116 years old. Each year the event continues to grow.