The Cat in the Hat

Cat in the Hat Sketch

The book, The Cat in the Hat, came about in 1957 after Ted Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) read an article in Life magazine criticizing the Dick and Jane books used to teach kids to read. The author of the article, J. Hersey joked that Dr. Seuss
could create better beginner readers for kids.

Well, Dr. Seuss took the challenge and began writing a book from a list of 223 easy-to-read words. It just so happened that the first two rhyming words on the list were “Cat” and “Hat”, thus the Cat in the tall striped hat was born. And the era of children having fun while they learned to read all by themselves was born.

Initially, this new beginner reader didn’t appeal to the schools. So, the publishing company (Random House) took it straight to the bookstores. The book flew off the shelves and soon the tales of the mischievous Cat was delighting children and parents everywhere.

It wasn’t long until a sign appeared on Dr. Seuss’s house that read: “Beware of the Cat” - all in good fun, of course.

Random House wanting to take advantage of the "Cat Craze", created a new division called Beginner Books and put Dr. Seuss in charge of it. Every beginner book was to have the picture of the infamous Cat that started it all on it’s cover.

The success of the Cat and his striped hat continues still today. Parents and children all around the world choose Dr. Seuss’s beginner books to teach and learn English from. And now there’s even a motion picture about the cunning Cat himself.

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