Students celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with ‘Read Across America’ day

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Children read from "The Cat in the Hat" book at a ceremony honoring the late children's book author Dr. Seuss. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

LA JOLLA, Calif. — UC San Diego librarians handed out cake Thursday to celebrate the 113th anniversary of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s birth.

Festivities in front of the library that bears the name of the beloved author of children’s books also included a giant inflatable Cat in the Hat and Seussian musical entertainment by The Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra.

UCSD also showcased materials from its Dr. Seuss collection. The Geisel Library in 1991 became the official repository for his original works, and the collection now includes more than 15,000 drawings, sketches, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs and memorabilia.

Selected items will be on display through March 24.

Geisel was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and first used the pen name Dr. Seuss on a cartoon in the Saturday Evening Post in 1927.

His first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” was published 10 years later — after 27 rejections. After World War II, he moved to La Jolla and penned classics like “Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which became staples for young readers.

Geisel died in 1991. The National Education Association launched Read Across America Day on his birthday seven years later.

The program promotes to school children the importance of reading.