I learnt to read with Dr Seuss. I loved the nonsense rhymes and tongue-twisters of books like Oh The Places You’ll Go and One Fish, Two Fish. The colourful pictures of strange furry creatures and worlds captured my imagination. But I really haven’t given them a second thought since I was five, until recently I was scouring the internet for something to practice hand-lettering with (it’s amazing how quickly you go through quotes!) and I stumbled across page upon page of wisdom from Dr Seuss. I don’t remember his books being so philosophical – but really at four is that such a surprise? Still, reading his poems as an adult is a completely different experience – I can see now what he was trying to teach through silliness. His poems are really about the realities of life: building confidence, trying new things, not being afraid to be alone and different, to have fun without hurting people and to read lots and lots of books! He doesn’t shy away from the bad stuff, but encourages kids to have confidence in themselves to face it, which is fantastic really. Very Bruno Bettleheim.
Anyway, so it was my Grandma’s birthday last weekend, and instead of a card I ended up illustrating this quote for from Dr Seuss. She adores nonsense poetry and is always writing limericks and silly verses for her friends and daughters. For a lady who, by her own description ‘is not blind, she just can’t see’, she’s done some pretty amazing things: cycled down the Danube, walked the Camino trail, travelled all over the place, baked the most amazing and crazy-elaborate birthday cakes for me and all my cousins growing up. I thought this would be perfect.