Theodore Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, would have been proud to step into the 114th birthday celebration thrown in his honor at the Celina Public Library on Saturday, March 5, 2018. The American author and Pulitzer Prize winner is best known for authoring more than 60 children’s books under the name Dr. Seuss. The turnout at the birthday celebration is proof that this American icon and creative genius still holds a very special place in the hearts of people of all ages.
Guests, including infants, toddlers, pre-teens and parents, were greeted at the door by familiar faces. Bay Henderson distributed tickets for the chance to win prizes, while Linda Shaw, the Director of Library Services went all out to play the part of the high energy, “think outside of the box” Cat from the 1958 book, The Cat in the Hat.
Shaw’s passion for children, reading and our community is evident by her enthusiasm. This is the 5th year she has played the eccentric Cat for the artist’s birthday, bringing to life Seuss’ character that she claims is one of her all time favorites. The guests were all ears as she slyly read of the Cat that shows up at the house of Sally and her brother on one unsupervised and rainy day. The Cat keeps the children entertained much to the chagrin of their rule following goldfish.
Additional characters from the story also made appearances. Unlike the unruly sidekicks that wreak havoc on the children’s home in the story, Thing #1, played by Gabriella Martinez and Thing #2, played by Marlene Martinez, are well known volunteers at the library. They enjoy assisting with activities for local readers because they learned at a young age about the importance of building knowledge through reading books.
The story unfolds as the children and their fish become more and more alarmed until the Cat produces a machine that he uses to clean everything up. He then says his goodbyes and disappears just before the children’s mother returns home.
The story takes you back to an age of wonder that can’t help but make you curious as to what would happen if the feline visited your house on a rainy day. It teaches a lesson about following rules and the consequences of circumstances spiraling out of our control.
Guests were all smiles by the time the story ended with the children in the tale safe from the proof of the chaos. Shaw wrapped up the story as Thing #1 and Thing #2 led the parade of party goers to a Seuss-themed celebration table where they dined on birthday cookies, cupcakes and refreshments.
Tucker Estep was the winner of the drawing that awarded him a copy of one of Seuss’ other popular works, The Lorax. Each guest also went home with a surprise party bag of treats and Dr. Seuss-themed crafts.
Youth Services Librarian Lauren Graves, who just recently joined the team at the Celina Library, spoke excitedly about going “all out” for the celebration with plans for future events that include Yoga Story Time, Kids Book Club, Summer Reading Programs and a visit from the Perot Museum Tech Truck. To stay informed on upcoming events, please be sure to visit the Celina Public Library’s Facebook page.
The goal of the Celina Library and its employees is much like the goal of the author they celebrate, to increase and promote reading which nurtures imagination, exploration and learning. Shaw, who played a key role in the development of the libraries in both Prosper and Celina, has contributed years to her passion of reading while inspiring children of all ages to remember the truth that is, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Happy 114th Birthday Dr. Seuss! We’ll be celebrating you, and the contribution you made to generations of readers, for years to come. Here’s to another successful birthday celebration. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”