Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, the popular children’s author-illustrator of The Cat in the Hat, which diversified mainstream children’s literature, turns 114 on Friday, March 2, 2018.
Party plans are underway at the University of California San Diego campus to celebrate the ingenious and creative spirit of Dr. Seuss during a noontime birthday bash that will include a two-story inflatable cake with candles, a giant, inflatable Cat in the Hat wearing a red and white striped hat, birthday cake, and Seussian musical entertainment by the Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra.
Coinciding with national Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss fans near and far are invited to join the fun being held in front of Geisel Library, the university’s flagship building named in honor of Theodor and Audrey Geisel in 1995. UC San Diego’s Interim Audrey Geisel University Librarian Tammy Nickelson Dearie will be on hand to greet party-goers and serve cupcakes to the first 2,000 attendees.
“Few readers who have grown up in the last sixty years can imagine their childhood without the wonderfully whimsical images and rhymes of Dr. Seuss. The illustrations in the more than 60 books he wrote are timeless and draw both children and adults alike,” said Dearie. “We’re honored to host a cherished campus tradition that began in the early 90’s when the UC San Diego Library received its first gift from Audrey Geisel.”
Later that evening, the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club will host a dinner for adult celebrants at 6:30 p.m. The whimsical birthday dinner will feature Seuss-inspired dishes with paired wines, and Seth Lerer, Distinguished Professor of Literature and author of Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter (2008), will give remarks. Tickets can be purchased by calling (858) 534-0876. The cost for Faculty Club members is $75 and $85 for non-members.
In addition to the birthday parties, a small exhibit of materials from the book Happy Birthday to You! will be on view from Monday, February 19 through Sunday, March 25 on the main floor of Geisel Library. In 1991, the UC San Diego Library’s Special Collections & Archives became the official repository for the original works of Dr. Seuss. The collection now holds more than 20,000 items, including original drawings, sketches, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs and memorabilia, documenting the full range of Geisel’s creative achievements. For more information about the Dr. Seuss Collection at the UC San Diego Library, visit: lib.ucsd.edu/dr-seuss-collection.