It will be “hats off” to Dr. Seuss at the Seuss-a-Thon event co-sponsored by UNC Charlotte’s English Department and Park Road Books at the bookstore on Saturday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“In this shared literary experience, admirers of Dr. Seuss’ books will read aloud from their favorites of his books,” said Dr. Mark West, long-time children’s literature professor and chairman of the English Department in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. This is the second year West has coordinated the Seuss-a-Thon.
“We invite people of all ages to come by and enjoy the books written by one of America’s most influential authors,” West said. “We had a wonderful turnout at our first Seuss-a-thon last year, and we expect an even greater event this year at Park Road Books.”
Park Road Books will supply the books to be read and will offer a 20 percent discount on any Dr. Seuss books purchased that day.
“These are timeless books that appeal to everybody,” said Sally Brewster, owner of Park Road Books. “Everyone has a favorite Dr. Seuss book, and by having so many people reading different books, perhaps people will find new favorites. We are thrilled to host this event for the community.”
The Seuss-a-Thon takes place on the birth date of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. It is part of the National Education Association's Read Across America literacy campaign, which celebrates and encourages reading and literacy. Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 and wrote and illustrated 44 books for children. He received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 “for his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America's children and their parents.”
Park Road Books is located in Park Road Shopping Center, 4139 Park Road, at the intersection with Woodlawn Road. Open since 1977, it is Charlotte’s oldest continuously operated independent bookstore. For more information on Dr. Seuss and his influence, read West’s column in Charlotte Viewpoint.
West also will present an academic paper titled "The Evolution of Dr. Seuss's Thoughts on War,” at Harvard University's Fourth Annual Public Intellectuals Conference, scheduled for April 25-27, 2013. In the paper, West explores Geisel’s influence on the intellectual debates of his time, including discussions of war. Geisel published political cartoons for adults in the years leading up to World War II, and he often introduced children to weighty ideas through his books.
“He used humor, but his goal was to encourage children to think about serious topics,” West wrote in the abstract for his April talk at Harvard University. “He intended to shape children’s thinking, but he allowed for divergent points of view. He often concluded his books with open-ended situations, thus inviting children to provide their own responses to the topics he raised in his books.”