Tonawanda News

Local News

March 2, 2013

For love of Seuss

More than a century after author's birth, works still resonate with readers, children

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Tonawanda News — “People feel a connection with Dr. Seuss. I think it’s about the memories.”

Kristin Schmutzler, who was helping her son Brody, 3, with his puppet, agreed.

“When parents love a book, they pass it on,” she said. “They’re just good stories, and kids like the rhythm, too.”

At the City of Tonawanda Library, director Glenn Luba also pointed out the strong nostalgia factor to the books’ popularity.

”Because the parents have fond memories of it, they’re kind of transferring that to their kids,” he said. 

Librarian Betsey Higgins said that it’s all about the language.

“I think kids pick up on the onomatopoeia of it,” she said, referring to the way the sound of Seuss’ words echo their meaning. “For a parent, a grandparent, to read it out loud ... I think when they are read out loud, the legacy lives on.”

The North Tonawanda Public Library will celebrate Seuss’ birthday with a party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, featuring a program with Seuss stories, snacks and crafts presented by librarian Kelly Menzel. Children’s reference librarian Rebecca Stutzman said Friday that limited space is still available for the event; registration is required by calling 693-4132, ext. 5.

Stutzman said the books and their characters remain popular today for a number of reasons, and not just with toddlers and beginning readers.

“A lot of his stories are used not just with younger, but older children, because there’s a lot you can learn,” she said, referring to such stories as “The Lorax” and “The Butter Battle Book,” which hold themes of protecting the environment and the arms race, respectively. “It’s ‘hidden’ ... but it’s really there.”

For younger children, however, the simplicity and the bright colors continue to appeal.

“It’s just an easy stepping stone in their reading . It has a comfort level to it,” Stutzman said. “Kids like things that have rhythm and cadence and repetition, and you can find that through his easy readers.”

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday • WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today • WHERE: North Tonawanda Public Library, 505 Meadow Drive. • TO REGISTER: Registration is required; limited space remains. The activity is for the residents of North Tonawanda, Wheatfield and Pendleton. For more information, call 693-4132, ext. 5, or visit www.ntlibrary.org.

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