When it comes to the work of Dr. Seuss, most of us have brains that are two sizes too small. And some people don’t know much Dr. Seuss at all. Sure, we’ve all had green eggs and ham, and we’ve met the cat and his hat. We knew all about the Grinch before Jim Carrey played the part. But the best way to travel the many worlds of Theodor Geisel, who died in 1991, is to follow the whimsical trail of Seussian enlightenment on the Web.
Just one glance at the Dr. Seuss Collection (http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/collects/seuss.html) at the University of California, San Diego and your Foona-Lagoona Baboona just might fall off. This depository dishes details on everything from early sketches to unfinished books. ”We have his notebook from Oxford,” says UCSD’s director of special collections, Lynda Claassen, ”and even in his doodles in the margins you can see Dr. Seuss emerging.” And if we learn enough from such jam packed online vaults as this and Cyber-Seuss (http://www.afn.org/~afn15301/drseuss.html), then our brains will grow three sizes today. Here’s some of what’ll be stored inside:
You can make Oobleck with corn starch, water, and food coloring. And you thought you couldn’t make it at all. The recipe for the gooey gum that falls from the sky in Bartholomew and the Oobleck can be found at Cut Loose With Dr. Seuss!, the lesson plans of Paula White, a Virginia elementary school teacher. The instructor also reports that her class once dined on green eggs and ham, so steer clear of the cafeteria.
Dr. Seuss wrote an episode of Babylon 5. He did! And you can read it at the Center for Seussian Studies (http://www.seuss.org), along with his episode of Star Trek and his take on Hamlet and Dante’s Inferno. Wait — unless you think these are parodies? Written by some Netheads with rhyming dictionaries? Duped!
Dr. Seuss invented the word ”nerd.” The word’s first usage is on record as the name of a hairy yellow critter in If I Ran the Zoo (1950). Look it up in your dictionary or at the Nerd’s Corner (http://www.ultranet. com/~brons/NerdCorner/nerd.html). For some reason, the book’s other creatures — the Bippo-No-Bungus and Nerkle — never made it to the big time.
The fish from The Cat in the Hat doesn’t have a name in the book, but in the 1971 TV cartoon version, he’s Karlos K. Krinklebein. This info is on file at the Toonarific Cartoon Archive (http://toonarific.com), but if it’s Seussian organism enumeration you crave, seek An Index to Dr. Seuss: Characters and Unusual Creatures (http://www.primate.wisc.edu/people/hamel/seuss.html). From Bloogs to Snuvs to the South-Going Zax, the site catalogs every creature and character from 48 of Seuss’ books. And it’s clear, says Ray Hamel, the trivia buff who crunched all the data, that Dr. Seuss ”really liked the letter z.”