In September of 1991 the world lost a creative legend in Theodore Seuss Geisel. The poetic mastermind of over 60 children’s titles, sold over 600 million books in 20+ different languages. Since his passing Dr. Seuss has inspired four major animated films, a Broadway musical, and the imaginations of millions of children. His final publication Oh, the Places You’ll Go! served as a message to the world about life, its successes and its challenges. Dr. Seuss, Theodore Geisel, Theo LeSieg, Rosetta Stone, Theophrastus, Ted, however he wishes to be remembered has touched all of us, in one way or another.
In his battle with cancer, Dr. Seuss had left a few projects unfinished. Hooray for Diffendoofer Day was one of those projects. With a limited amount of limericks, sketches and ideas plotted out, it was Dr. Seuss’ editor and close friend, Janet Schulman who obtained these few elements. In honour of the late, great author Mrs. Schulman enlisted the help of poet Jack Prelutsky and artist Lane Smith to complete the unfinished work. Using what pieces that existed the creative team built a work that is an homage and a memorial. Hooray for Diffendoofer Day was published in 1998, credited to Dr. Seuss with some help.
The story is based around a school, where the unorthodox teachers teach unconventional subjects. The children and staff are proud of their differences, but when a state test threatens to close their doors the school goes in worried chaos. One teacher reminds the children that they may have failed to teach them about math, science or other conventional courses, but they have taught them to think for themselves. In the end it is the unusual methods that have made the school a success and the school and town celebrate their uniqueness.
Jack Prelutsky does an amazing job of incorporating Dr. Seuss’ completed rhymes while composing the rest of the book in the recognizable style. The artwork adds Lane Smiths style with elements left from Dr. Seuss as well as cameos from some of his other classic works. All together it is a wonderful memorial to a well deserving author, but it is the moral that reminds us most of what his life work gave us, be different and think for yourself.
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day is a heart warming book about being creative and different from everyone else. It is exactly how you want to feel when thinking about the author that touched your childhood. 5/5, the creative team handled this project with love and care. I absolutely recommend this book to everyone, because you need to read it. Dr. Seuss may have lost his battle with cancer but he inspires us one more time, be who you want, do what you love, and you will be remembered for the person you were.
Thanks booknerds, RIP Theodore Seuss Geisel (1904 – 1991).