10 Memorable Dr. Seuss Quotes About His Work
Today would have been Dr. Seuss's 111th birthday. Here are 10 things he said about his life, his work, his inspiration, and bow ties.
1. On how a childless person could write so well for kids: "You make 'em, I amuse 'em."
2. On writing books kids actually want to read: "I have great pride in taking Dick and Jane out of most school libraries. That is my greatest satisfaction."
3. On where he gets his ideas: "I get all my ideas in Switzerland near the Forka Pass. There is a little town called Gletch, and two thousand feet up above Gletch there is a smaller hamlet called Über Gletch. I go there on the fourth of August every summer to get my cuckoo clock fixed. While the cuckoo is in the hospital, I wander around and talk to the people in the streets. They are very strange people, and I get my ideas from them." (He wasn't a fan of this question, apparently.)
4. On what would happen if he were invited to a dinner party with his characters: “I wouldn't show up."
5. On why he always wore bow ties: "You can't dribble on bow ties."
6. On the inspiration for Horton Hatches the Egg: "I was in my New York studio one day, sketching on transparent tracing paper, and I had the window open. The wind simply took a picture of an elephant that I'd drawn and put it on top of another sheet of paper that had a tree on it. All I had to do was to figure out what the elephant was doing in that tree."
7. On whether that trick ever worked again: "I've left my window open for 30 years since that, but nothing's happened."
8. On how long he expected The Cat in the Hat to take to write: "I figured I could knock it off in a week or so."
9. On how long it really took: "A year and a half."
10. On nonsense: “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities."
Sources: Dr. Seuss: American icon (Philip Nel); "Fifty Years of The Cat and the Hat" (NPR, 2007); Your Favorite Seuss; "Children's Author Dr. Seuss, 87, Dies" (Dallas Morning News, 1991); The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators (Anita Silvey). This post originally appeared in 2012.