Dr. Seuss Muse Day

Happy Birthday To You!
by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

I wish we could do what they do in Katroo.
They sure know how to say “Happy Birthday to You!”
In Katroo, every year, on the day you were born
They start the day right in the bright early morn
When the Birthday Honk-Honker hikes high up Mt. Zorn
And lets loose a big blast on the big Birthday Horn.
And the voice of the horn calls out loud as it plays:
“Wake Up! For today is your Day of all Days!”

Then, the moment the Horn’s happy honk-honk is heard,
Comes a fluttering flap-flap! And then comes THE BIRD!

The Great Birthday Bird! And, so far as I know, Katroo is the only place Birthday Birds grow.
This bird has a brain. He’s most beautifully brained
With the brainiest bird-brain that’s ever been trained.
He was trained by the most splendid Club in this nation, The Katroo Happy Birthday Asso-see-eye-ation.
And, whether your name is Pete, Polly or Paul,
When you birthday comes round, he’s in charge of it all.

Whether your name is Nate, Nelly or Ned,
He knows your address, and he heads for your bed.
You hear a soft swoosh in the brightening sky.
You are not all awake. But you open one eye.
Then over the housetops and trees of Katroo,
You see that bird coming! To you. Just to you!

That Bird pops right in!
You are up on your feet!
You jump to the window! You meet and you greet
With the Secret Katroo Birthday Hi-Sign-and-Shake
That only good people with birthdays may make.
You do it just so. With each finger and toe.
Then the Bird says, “Come on! Brush your teeth and let’s go!
It’s your Day of all Days! It’s the Best of the Best!
So don’t waste a minute!
Hop to it!
Get dressed!”

And five minutes later, you’re having a snack
On your way out of town on a Smorgasbord’s back.
“Today,” laughs the Bird, “eat whatever you want.
Today no one tells you you cawnt or you shawnt.
And, today, you don’t have to be tidy or neat.
If you wish, you may eat with both hands and both feet.
So get in there and munch. Have a big munch-er-oo!
Today is your birthday! Today you are you!

If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born, well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than that . . . Why, you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all. No, he doesn’t.
A Wasn’t just isn’t. He just isn’t present.
But you . . . You ARE YOU! And, now isn’t that pleasant!

So we’ll go to the top of the toppest blue space,
The Official Katroo Birthday Sounding-Off Place!
Come on! Open your mouth and sound off at the sky!
Shout loud at the top of your voice, “I AM I!
I am I!
And I may not know why
But I know that I like it.
Three cheers! I AM I!”


This is just the beginning of the story of the special birthday place created by Dr. Seuss. The book can be purchased here .

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, he went to Oxford University, intending to acquire a doctorate in literature. At Oxford, Geisel met Helen Palmer, whom he wed in 1927. Upon his return to America later that year, Geisel published cartoons and humorous articles for Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at that time. His cartoons also appeared in major magazines such as Life, Vanity Fair, and Liberty. Geisel gained national exposure when he won an advertising contract for an insecticide called Flit. He coined the phrase, “Quick, Henry, the Flit!” which became a popular expression.

Geisel published his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books. While Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading.

Above text lifted from the Bibliography at Amazon.com

Dr. Seuss was an author whose works have enriched the lives of millions. For the Fairegarden offspring, his books were the entryway into the world of reading, beginning with the immortal Hop On Pop. The birthday book was given to our oldest child, Chickenpoet, by sister to The Financier, Aunt Lynn, for her fourth birthday. CP still has the book, and read it over the phone to be transcribed for this post. The message here comes across loud and clear, the day of our birth is special without equal. Shout it loud, You Are You! Thank you, Dr. Seuss and we honor you on what would have been your one hundred and sixth Day Of All Days. You will never be forgotten for your gifts to mankind.

Many thanks to Carolyn Gail of Sweet Home And Garden Chicago for making the first day of each month special, with Muse Day.

And for those of you living in the Asheville, North Carolina area, our ice cream shop, The Hop, is celebrating in this way:

Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Party!!!!

On Tuesday, March 2nd The Hop is teaming up with another great family-friendly local business, Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the wonderful world he has created for many generations. His efforts to promote early reading and imaginative exploration are always worth having a party! And it’s FREE!

Here is the schedule of events…

3:30 – Leslie Hawkins, owner of Spellbound, will be reading one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books. She has graciously and specifically relocated her regular in-store reading to The Hop to help us celebrate!

4:00 – Dr. Seuss related games and activities for all to enjoy.

4:30 – Performance of Bartholomew and The Oobleck by renowned local storyteller, David Novak. If you missed him at our Book Exchange or are aching for another opportunity, here’s your chance to witness a marvel of the storytelling world.

6:30 – Curtain Call Kidz Co., lead by Cat In The Hat – I mean, children’s play director, Christopher Martin πŸ™‚ – and Accompanied by Lenora Thom (!!!) , will be entertaining with all things Dr. Seuss. There will be singing, reciting poems, improving, and engaging in all-out Seuss-related and boisterous silliness. The Company is very open to any and all kids and families. Email Christopher directly here if you are interested in participating.

Also, in honor of the occasion, we will be making an extra special ice cream flavor!! (Pink Lemonade with Swedish Gummy Fish, for the Pink Haze in One Fish Two Fish)

Well done, Mashley and Brokenbeat! This is typical of the family oriented events put on regularly at The Hop. We are quite proud of these efforts, and their home made ice cream is the best!!!! Do stop by if you are in the vicinity, tell them Fairegarden sent you!


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42 Responses to Dr. Seuss Muse Day

  1. Darla says:

    Oh my goodness!! As a childcare giver for many years and a home full of children we have read and re-read Dr. Seuss books! Love them to this day…I’d really hate to have to choose a favorite…

    Thanks for visiting, Darla. Dr. Seuss was a boon to people like us with households full of kids. His books were fun to read and the children loved them. I had the ABC book memorized, didn’t even need the book to go through the alphabet it was read so many times, including to Chickenpoet before she was born, every single day. The Birthday Book is not well known, it is longer than most of his books, but is our fave.

  2. gittan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I loved to read every single word! I’ve never heard about Dr Seuss before but I think I’ll have to check if our library have any of his books / kram gittan

    Thank you for reading, dear Gittan. I wondered if Dr. Seuss was famous in Europe. His books are wonderful with the rhyming words and delightfully skewed illustrations. The Birthday Book is special, even adults can enjoy this and many other works from this brilliant man. I hope your library has some. The Lorax was another that our family loved, with an important message contained within.

  3. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, I love you!!!
    And I love the birthday cakes that your children had over the years, some of them are quite elaborate. Did you make them all?

    Thanks Deborah. I only made a couple of them. When we lived in PA, my mother in law had a friend who made cakes and she made all the birthday and other event cakes, including my wedding cake. My sad efforts still tasted good however. πŸ™‚

  4. mothernaturesgarden says:

    I want to celebrate and have some cake now. I love all the past birthday pics.

    Me too, Donna! Those cakes are looking pretty dadburn good right now. Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

  5. Les says:

    Like you Dr. Seuss and his Hop On Pop are special. My son learned to read with this book and I was fortunate enough to be there when the light bulb came on over his head. He now reads for pleasure, to the point we have to tell him to put the book down and do what needs to be done. Regrettably, I think reading for pleasure is unusual in his age group. Have a great week!

    How wonderful, Les. The love of reading is such a gift. There may be a lull in young person’s life when they lose interest in it, but they will come back to it in the end. More snow for us tomorrow. I can hardly believe it. Thank goodness for books! And blogs. πŸ™‚

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Happy Garden Muse Day. It was fun to stoll down memory lane with you this moring. The good DR did create many fond memories.

    Thanks Lisa, and the same good wishes back to you. Dr. Seuss was a genius, enough good things cannot be said about him and his wonderful books. πŸ™‚

  7. Happy March. And how appropriate (for me anyways) that you put Dr. Seuss’ birthday book on your blog today as Feb. 29th is my birthday so I’m celebrating right now.

    Hi Heather, a very happy birthday to you! So, you must be six or seven by now? My mother’s birthday was the 28th, maybe. Sometimes I think they fudged on it. May you have the very best on the Day of all Days! πŸ™‚

  8. I would love to stop by the ice cream shop to celebrate, but my drive is a little too long for today! Happy Birthday!

    Maybe someday, Dave, if you ever get to Asheville, do drop in! The Hop is such a kid friendly place, geared with all sorts of activites for kids and their parents. In fact, Asheville has an amazing array of stuff for kids. I wouldn’t know about it if it weren’t for the efforts of Mashley and Brokenbeat, they do a great job of being heavily involved in the community in a very kid friendly way. You could say I am slightly proud of them. πŸ™‚

  9. Rose says:

    Thank you for this trip down memory lane, Frances! Dr. Seuss was a favorite at our house, too, from those early readers to the longer, clever poems like this one. This brings back memories of reading to each of my children before bedtime; each one had their favorite, and sometimes a very tired mom had trouble wrapping her tongue around all those words:)

    A great tribute to a great man; his legacy lives on–each of the grandchildren now has his or her own set of Dr. Seuss books, and I suspect the next generation of little “Prairie people” will, too.

    Kudos to the Hop and to Spellbound for creating such a wonderful family event–I’d definitely stop by if I were in the area.

    Hi Rose, thanks and glad you enjoyed it. I had such a memory trip going through the photo albums and picking out these shots. It seems birthdays were always a photo opportunity back in the days of film cameras, the cake getting a shot every year for each kid. I know what you mean about reading the books aloud, the words were tricky! Maybe someday you will get to The Hop and try some very good ice cream. πŸ™‚

  10. Gail says:

    Frances, What a delight to see all these candle blowing birthday moments…and the Financier looks very Magnum PI in his mustache. yesterday I was following a car with a SAMIAM tag. Love Dr S and his wonderful books. They were an antidote to all the cuteness normally thrown at children. You can tell he admired and respected their clever minds. Sorry about the forecast….I see 60s this weekend. xxgail

    Hi Gail, thanks. The Financier’s ‘stache was a BIG attraction for me, LOL! The good doctor was revered in our household, still is, in fact. His book The Lorax was especially important to us. Oh, I do hope this weekend will be in the 60s, that would be wonderful, after the predicted snowfall tomorrow. I am tired of it.

  11. Tatyana says:

    Hop on Pop and many others were read zillion times. Such a lovely way to start March! Thank you, Frances! The B-day pictures are so precious… and The Financier is so handsome!

    Hi Tatyana, thanks and glad to hear your family are Seuss fans as well. The old photos are prized. We always have kept them in a special place, so that in case of fire we would grab the albums to save. They are the most important of our possesions, those pictures. The Financier is still quite good looking, I lucked out!!! πŸ™‚

  12. A truly amsuing post, Frances! And what a neat idea of The Hop. I too love Doctor Seuss, though unfortunately didn’t grow up on it since most of my kids’ books were in German. I still remember fondly, and with a bit of a tear in my eye, the first book my niece ever read to me, Green Eggs and Ham. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Monica. Hearing the first books read by our beloved relatives is one that is worthy of a tear, such an important step to a lifetime of reading. It is the key to the universe. πŸ™‚

  13. Janet says:

    I absolutely LOVE Dr. Seuss. Great post Frances.

    Hi Janet, thanks. Glad to hear about another fan of the good doctor. πŸ™‚

  14. joey says:

    Oh, happy, happy March Muse Day & Dr. Seuss birthday! (Love the family photos, Frances, especially the Financier’s ‘handsome’ mustache … Mr. Ho-Hum had a similar one πŸ™‚

    Thanks, Joey. Those were the days weren’t they, with those mustaches everywhere. Ah, the memories! πŸ™‚

  15. Catherine says:

    What a cute post with all of your kids pictures! I love reading Dr. Seuss and the way his mind must have worked to come up with such fun rhymes. It became a joke with my oldest when she was about 4 and insisted we read ‘Fox in Socks’ every night. That is one of the hardest books ever to read out loud.
    The party sounds like lots of fun.

    Thanks Catherine. How funny about the Fox in Socks! Some of those words and combinations were real tongue twisters. These are the memories that will last a lifetime. πŸ™‚

  16. This was great! What fun pics. I still have many Dr. Seuss books memorized from reading them over and over and over again to my daughter. Now, I suppose I’ll be reciting one fish, two fish in my head all morning! πŸ™‚

    Thanks Kate, glad you liked it. Isn’t it funny how we ended up memorizing those books without really trying to. The ABC book is still in my head. That Jerry Jordan and his jelly jar. We knew someone named Jerry Jordan, he hated that his name was in that book! πŸ™‚

  17. Chickenpoet says:

    I loved the layout of the pics with the story. Boy, those are old. I can’t believe I’m wearing a dress like that. You reading that book to me is a memory that brings back a wonderful feeling of childhood. Love, CP

    Thanks dear Chickenpoet. The layout was out of my control, wordpress sort of placed the text wherever it felt like it. If you are talking about the white dress with the green embroidery, that was a hand me down from your cousin Heather. I would never have bought that. The pink frilly one was purchased by my mother, two of them matching, one for you and one for your sister. I would not have bought that one either, but love that it lives in the pictures. Dr. Seuss books were a big part of our household, as you well know. The Birthday Book was a treasure without price, we so thank Aunt Lynn for it. Thanks for reading it to me for this post. A bonding moment as relived the magic words.

  18. Loved the photos (Chickenpoet blowing the candle for Semi a heart-melter), the Birthday poem, the tribute to Dr Seuss – great post Frances and bet a whole new crop of great memories will result from the party at the Hop.

    Philo had a moustache, too – didn’t hear any Magnum comparisons but many a Burt Reynolds one.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Thanks Annie, how nice to see you here. Those moustaches were quite the rage, they certainly made my heart beat a little faster. Oh that naughty Burt! Going through these old photos was so much fun, I spent a whole day looking through the albums and remembering those happy days. The Hop has lots of fun kid stuff, we have been there a couple of times for these events and watching the children’s faces is amazing. Oh the innocence and wonder of a child, there is nothing else like it. πŸ™‚

  19. commonweeder says:

    What a fantastic celebration of Muse Day, Geisel, and every birthday that ever happened, you have given us! Great photos.

    Thanks so much, Pat. The good doctor touched our lives, that is certain. Glad you enjoyed the family album. πŸ™‚

  20. VW says:

    I saw your post title and thought, dangit, I was supposed to have my son dress up for Dr. Suess day at school today, and I forgot. He’s already gone, so it’s too late. Oh, well. Maybe I can make up for my memory lapse by brushing up on ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’, and reciting it to him tonight. I had it almost memorized after reading it to him twice daily or more when he was a toddler. Now my toddler daughter is obsessed with ‘The Up Book’. We really love Dr. Suess around this house!

    Hi VW, sorry it was too late for the reminder! I do think your recital will be well received. Dr. Seuss’ birthday is one that should be remembered, maybe a national holiday, or at the least, a read-a-thon of his favorite books. I’m glad the schools are recognizing him. πŸ™‚

  21. brokenbeat says:

    this, all of it, makes me happy to no end. thanks for posting this, mom.

    It makes me happy, too, my dear son.

  22. semi says:

    Those pictures are great!! What wonderful memories of Dr Seuss books! I still love the Lorax, I think I cry eveytime I read it. I remember reading One fish, two fish to LTB in and out of belly so many times that I could recite the book without even reading it.Thank you for all the childhood memories, we are all so lucky to have such a wonderful mother!! Way to go Mash and Brokenbeat @ the HOP. Love Semi

    Dear Semi, wonderful memories, how true. I know I couldn’t get through The Lorax, or the birthday book even, without tearing up. So much emotion tied up in those books and the thoughts of you kids. We are all lucky to have each other, but thank you for those sweet words. We are super proud of what goes on at The Hop.

  23. Jenny B says:

    What a lovely tribute, Frances, not only to the good doctor, but to your family as well. I adored the birthday cake walk down memory lane, remembering the haircuts and clothing styles–I just love old pictures. But I think I enjoyed reading the sweet comments your children have left. Dr. Seuss has touched us all and left an indelible print on our lives. What would Christmas be without the lessons of The Grinch?

    Thanks so much Jenny. When the kids leave a comment, it makes my heart sing. Funny how Chickenpoet was distressed by the dress she was wearing! Of course she had no choice in her apparel at that time, but that changed soon afterwards. Strong willed is an understatement. Dr. Seuss’ books were and still are beloved by our family, and many others it seems.

  24. What a great post, Frances! I love Dr. Suess, as he was part of my childhood, and of course that of my own child. We still look at each other occasionally and utter parts of verses, like “I’m Yertle the Turtle, O marvelous me…” or “Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave had 23 sons and she named them all Dave?” But the BEST bit of Theodor Geisel I can offer is that I have the rare, “The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough”, and I cherish it. ‘Quick, Henry, The Flit!” indeed.
    Thank you for this happy trip down memory lane. I still do not like green eggs and ham, but I do love Fox in Sox. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Jodi, thanks so much. The Tough Coughs line is priceless, much food for thought there! The moments in the childhood memories associated with these books shows the power of the doctor’s words.

  25. kimberly says:

    How sweet and FUN! Adorable post…thank you for the smile!

    Hi Kimberly, thanks and welcome. I am so glad to have brought a smile to you. πŸ™‚

  26. Lola says:

    Wonderful post Frances. I enjoyed seeing the birthday pics and reading the story. Always wonderful stories by Dr. S.

    Thanks, Lola. I am glad you enjoyed the family album. πŸ™‚

  27. Brad B says:

    Thanks for that. I love Dr. Seuss. I used to use his stories in my ESL classes for adults (18-40+). They would all groan at first and say this is for kids, but shortly into the story, listening to the rhythm and the words they would all be hooked.

    Thanks, Brad. The Seuss books would be a perfect and fun way to teach English, great idea! His rhymes were for adults too, one of the reasons we enjoyed reading them aloud so much. πŸ™‚

  28. Christine B. says:

    Dr. Suess sent me a letter and autographed pic when I was in fourth grade after I wrote him a letter. Still have it.

    I sent my sister in NC to the hop after seeing on your blog. She said she ate too much, I guess that’s a compliment.

    Christine in Alaska

    Wow, Christine, that is fantastic! What a wonderful memento and quite valuable, even if only for sentimental reasons. Thanks so much for sending a customer our way to The Hop! Hope she will become a regular. πŸ™‚

  29. Happy March muse and happy birthday one and all.

    Ice cream is my weakness. A local firm here produces the best chocolate ‘intense’ I’ve eaten. I discovered it a couple years back and ate it with gusto. Spent the next few months losing a few pounds but it was worth it.

    Thanks Rob. I wish you could experience the Aztec Chocolate at The Hop. It is a big seller. πŸ™‚

  30. Liisa says:

    Frances, What a wonderful tribute to Dr. Seuss. He is one of my favorite authors, and I never tire of his books. “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”
    Dr. Seuss

    Thanks Liisa, that is a good one to show how important the messages in Dr. Seuss books are to growing minds. “A person’s a person no matter how small.” πŸ™‚

  31. marmee says:

    what classic birthday photos of all your family…blowing out the candles…lovely.
    dr seuss is a favourite around here too. seems like all children begin reading with his great books. what would life be like without dr seuss…he is just a childhood staple. happy b~day to the great dr.
    happy march to you frances.

    Thanks so much, Marmee. Dr. Seuss was a gift to all children, and their parents. After reading so many boring and mundane books, over and over and over, the Seuss books were such a treat. Happy March to you as well, but it feels more like January at the moment. Go away snow. It has turned me into the Grinch.

  32. donna says:

    A perfectly wonderful post! Dr. Seuss would be delighted to see what you’ve created here. My grandson’s second grade class is celebrating the birthday today and he’s going dressed as one of the Sneetches. It’s a good story about prejudice and discrimination.

    All of your birthday photos were out of this world wonderful.


    Thanks so much Donna. It is heartening to see the schools honoring the good doctor, recognition long overdue. How cute to be a Sneetch, lots of imagination there. There was always a message in every book too, he was a good man. Glad you liked the old shots, not like the digital cameras take today, but priceless in our hearts.

  33. I can feel the warmth coming from the rays of family sunshine and Seuss.

    Wonderful post!

    Thanks Cameron. We need some warmth about now, don’t we? I need to concentrate more on those family rays, thanks for reminding me. πŸ™‚

  34. Aunt Lynn says:

    What a great post. I loved the walk down memory lane. The pictures are priceless. Thanks for reminding us how special birthdays are.

    Thanks for everything, Lynn! We owe it all to you, Brokenbeat said it was your mention of the Dr. Seuss happenings at PSU that inspired The Hop’s celebration. Those birthday memories are so happy, thank goodness for all the photos we both took.
    Love, Frances

  35. tina says:

    It’s so sweet. I never heard of the Birthday Bird but love the story. What a fabulous post to look back at all those “I am me!” birthdays.

    Hi Tina, thanks. I don’t know why the Birthday Book is not more well known, it would make the perfect birthday gift to any person, young or old. We love it still.

  36. Rosie says:

    ah Frances you are bringing back memories – I brought the kids up on Dr Seuss.

    Thanks Rosie, glad to hear it. Kids need to hear those rhyming words when young. They might grow up to be poets. πŸ™‚

  37. Gardoctor says:

    Great pictures and post Mom! I am going to add them to my online collection. Love you

    Thanks Gardoctor. I had fun looking through the albums to pick these out, so many wonderful memories, including someone who put their face in their cake. πŸ™‚
    Love, Frances

  38. skeeter says:

    Happy Birthday to the Green eggs and Ham inventor himself….

    Thanks Skeeter, he was a fine fellow, what an imagination! πŸ™‚

  39. Sweet Bay says:

    Your kids had nice birthday cakes!

    Hi Sweet Bay, they did when my mother in law was buying them from her friend the cake maker! After we moved from PA to CA, the quality went straight downhill as I tried my hand at cake baking. Never got the hang of it. πŸ™‚

  40. Teresa says:

    It’s funny that I happened on to your blog when Dr. Seuss is the subject.Just today I was contemplating buying green eggs and ham for my son’s daughter that will be born in July(okay I am not too anxious for my first grandchild) That was his favorite book and the first one he could “read”. Memorize probably would fit better but even that is impressive when you are just learning. I enjoyed reading all your facts about the great author. I loved his books growing up as well.

    Oh Teresa, thanks so much and do go ahead and buy that book, and all of the beginner ones and more. We are firm believers in reading to the babies while in belly! Many congrats on the grandchild to be, you will be smitten at first sight, I guarantee it! πŸ™‚

  41. Lisa says:

    What a fun post! I always loved Dr. Seuss, and my son’s birthday is in March…Happy March indeed! BTW, I’m having a seed giveaway at my blog if you’re into free seeds or anything πŸ™‚

    Thanks Lisa. A very happy birthday to your son! I will check out the seeds too, thanks. πŸ™‚

  42. What a great celebratory post Frances! Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss! His genius was a big part of my son’s life growing up too. I smiled all the way through your various birthday cakes with the children blowing out the candles! A great theme!!

    Thanks so much, Carol. Dr. Seuss added to the pleasure of teaching our kids to read, both for them and for us. Seeing those photos was so fun for me, we always seemed to take a picture of the cake! πŸ™‚

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