Dr. Seuss makes house calls for kids in county libraries

100th birthday bash to serve `Green Eggs,' other classics

Family: events, activities

March 04, 2004|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,SUN STAFF

He was always your favorite doctor: fun, silly and smart. And he spoke to you in a language that you always understood. The good doctor, of course, was Dr. Seuss.

His name is ubiquitous, his stories timeless, his legacy enduring. And this month, in celebration of what would have been Dr. Seuss' 100th birthday, the Baltimore County Public Library is throwing a grand party in his honor.

"We've taken the whole month to celebrate Dr. Seuss and his wacky, wonderful literature," says Andrea Shore, a programming specialist for BCPL.

Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Mass. He lived until Sept. 24, 1991, but his tales of the Cat, Horton, the Lorax, Yertle and the others live on and on.

Celebratory events of Seuss' birthday, dubbed "Seuss It Up!" will be held at all 16 Baltimore County library branches throughout March. Branches will be decorated with Seuss posters and banners. Some branches will be decked out with mobiles and original artwork on the windows.

There will be lots of storytelling with costumed readers - mostly branch librarians and volunteers trained to read to youngsters.

Each week, branches will spotlight a different Seuss book for their story times. This week, the book is The Cat in the Hat. For the week of March 8, it is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. For the week of March 15, the book is Green Eggs and Ham. The week of March 22 will highlight Hop on Pop. And for the week of March 29, branch readers will choose their favorite book.

Celebrity readers will visit area branches, as well, to read Seuss stories to children.

BCPL director Jim Fish will read his favorite Seuss story - naturally, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish - at three branches. He'll read at 10:30 a.m. March 10 at the Randallstown branch, at 10:30 a.m. March 12 at the Towson branch and at 5 p.m. March 30 with his wife at the Cockeysville branch.

Fish, a huge Seuss fan, encountered the author while serving as director for the Springfield City Library in Massachusetts in the late 1980s.

"He was very gracious, very intelligent and very clever," Fish says. "He also was very wonderful with kids and their questions."

Of Seuss' uniqueness, Fish remarks: "His work was so different, especially as it unfolded. And his belief in literacy and making words fun was quite wonderful. He has made reading fun. And as Dr. Seuss would say, `Fun is good.' If children find reading fun, they'll do it more often."

Fish will make it fun for the kids by donning his own Seuss garb. "I have a Cat in the Hat hat that I intend to wear, and my One Fish, Two Fish tie," he says.

Other celebrity readers include Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., who will read Green Eggs and Ham at 10:30 a.m. March 16 at the Arbutus branch; attorney Louis Weinkam Jr., who will read The Cat in the Hat at 10:30 a.m. today at the Catonsville branch; and County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, who will read Hop on Pop at 10:30 a.m. March 26 at the Pikesville branch.

In addition to the storytelling, visitors can enjoy interactive programs, light snacks and giveaways. Some branches will serve birthday cake.

And while most of the events are geared to young children, everyone is invited: Older children, teen-agers, young adults and not-so-young adults.

"Dr. Seuss appeals to everyone," Shore says. [His books] really transcend all ages."

"Seuss It Up!" events take place throughout March at all Baltimore County Public Library branches - Arbutus, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Essex, Hereford, Loch Raven, North Point, Parkville-Carney, Perry Hall, Pikesville, Randallstown, Reisterstown, Rosedale, Towson, White Marsh and Woodlawn. For a full list of events, visit www.bcplon line.org. Call 410-887-6100 or 410-887-6166 for more information.

For more family events, see Page 38.

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