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1 .<-NARRATOR:->Listen to part of a lecture in a children's literature class.
1 .<-MALE PROFESSOR:->Today we'll start looking at the most important children's book authors of the twentieth century.
2 .And I'd like to start with an author-illustrator whom some of you probably grew up reading: Dr. Seuss... his actual name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.
我想从一位插画作家开始，你们中一些人可能是看着他的书长大的，他就是Seuss博士。他的本名叫做Theodor Seuss Geisel。
1 .Geisel's work was hugely popular among beginning readers and their parents, but it wasn't always considered "literature" or subjected to serious academic inquiry until relatively recently.
2 .In fact, not only weren't his books considered literature, but they weren't always considered good schoolbooks.
1 .In the late-1950s and even through the '60s, U.S. teachers resisted Seuss books because they perceived them as having a comic-book style—fun, maybe, but not... uh, not appropriate for the classroom.
2 .None of Geisel's books individually won him a Pulitzer Prize, and he didn't receive any top children's literary awards, either.
3 .Although the Pulitzer Prize Committee did give him a citation in 1984 for his, ah [reciting quote] "special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America's children and their parents." But again, that wasn't until 1984.
1 .Perhaps one reason his books weren't taken seriously is that even though they often use rhyme, you wouldn't call him a great poet.
2 .Geisel's rhyme schemes are very simple, and often, to make things rhyme, he'd use silly names for his imaginary creatures—like, uh, the "Grinch" and "sneetches."
3 .In fact, one book features 34 pairs of rhymed words, but only eight of those pairs consist entirely of real words. The rest are made-up words.
1 .Geisel also illustrated his own books and created lots of highly memorable characters from a visual standpoint.
2 .Yet, as far as his artistic talent, no one's ever really called him a "great" artist or "great" illustrator.
3 .For his human characters, he pretty much drew the same face over and over; except for minor accessories, all the people in his books look the same.
4 .Not exactly something you'd be encouraged to do in art school! And the way he drew even nonhuman characters was dismissed by many critics as being overly simplistic.
1 .His landscapes, on the other hand, they are simple, but they're also extremely clever.
2 .He had this uncanny knack for creating the illusion of great distance with some very simple shapes and lines.
1 .But what about from a pedagogical standpoint?
2 .Well, let's consider Geisel's most famous book, The Cat in the Hat.
我们来看看Geisel最有名的作品The Cat in the Hat
3 .Now, in a way, this book, The Cat in the Hat, captures the essence of Geisel's particular genius as a children's author.
在某种程度上，这本书The Cat in the Hat抓住了Geisel作为一位儿童文学作家特有的天分的精髓。
4 .Geisel actually wrote it in response to an article written in 1954 by an acclaimed novelist named John Hersey.
1 .In this article, Hersey criticized the textbooks being used in elementary schools, uh, to teach children to read.
2 .He called the books boring, contrived, and utterly humorless.
3 .After seeing Hersey's article, Geisel must've wondered what made the books so dull. And one thing he found was... they used only words from the Dolch list.
1 .The Dolch list contained a few hundred common sight words—words like, well, "cat" and "hat."
2 .At the time, the Dolch list was widely adhered to by publishers of textbooks for beginning readers.
1 .Well, using only words from the Dolch list, Geisel tapped into his fertile imagination, and... the result was an incredibly funny and engaging storyline about a talking cat that convinces a brother and sister to let him make a huge mess in their house while their mother is away.
2 .Another character, a talking fish, tries to warn the children that they'll be blamed for the cat's crazy antics.
3 .You can really feel the tension building up in those kids as the cat makes the house messier and messier.
4 .Ultimately, the house gets straightened up in the nick of time.
5 .And the kids are left speechless when their mom shows up and casually asks if anything interesting happened in her absence.
6 .The kids, and presumably Geisel's readers, are left thinking: Should they tell the truth? And that's where the book ends. [Slight pause for dramatic effect]
7 .Brilliant. There aren't too many authors who can set up a moral dilemma like this and then get children to think about it for themselves.