When Did You First Meet Dr. Seuss? by Angela Ferraris

When Did you First Meet Dr. Seuss?

It was in first  grade when I first met the world of Seussville and not in the usual way a six year  old would be introduced to that world. I did not have a school library. My parents had not yet discovered the several public libraries in our area. I do not think it ever occurred to them to buy books as gifts.  No book fairs. No Scholastic Classroom Book Clubs. We lived way out in the middle of nowhere; in the middle of farm fields. Our stories were from our imaginations or from the cartoons shown on one of the three channels we had. No one our age was around  for miles. We were very limited when it came to stories.

My grandmother gave us one of the most important gifts ever. She had bought my sister and me a year’s long subscription of Dr. Seuss books. One would magically appear in the mailbox at the end of the long graveled driveway.  I never knew when the flat rectangular cardboard box would arrive. I had not put together they would arrive every month. My sister and I would race down the driveway after seeing the mailman move to the next house. Nope. Just letters. We would slowly walk back to the house. Next day. No. Again. Another walk back with the cats. Tails held high with a little crook. Rubbing around our legs as we handed our mom the long envelopes.

I would open the metal box and peer in day after day. Just grown-up mail. Then there were the magical days.  My heart would leap as I reached in pulling cardboard out. My sister and I would smile as we ran back up the driveway with the cats running after us. We would sit on the stoop while I tore open the box revealing another Dr. Seuss book. I would immediately read it aloud since my sister could not read yet. We would laugh and point at the crazy creatures and repeat the rhyming words. We bonded then. She learned how to read. I learned how to be a  librarian. The cats played with the boxes.

Then the books stopped coming. The mail was just letters that I had to get from the mailbox after the school bus released me at the end of the driveway.  We assumed that those were all the books he must have written as we looked at our books over and over. We had not yet been taken to a library. We had no idea what a library was or that a treasure trove of Dr. Seuss books waited inside.  That would not happen until second grade.

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