Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Life I Learned From Dr. Seuss

I pride myself in providing my kid with quality reading material. Whether or not she actually wants to consume it is an arbitrary issue. To be honest, C would much rather play cowboys at bedtime these days than she would read a book. I think she’s onto us; she knows that stories make her drowsy and pensive and those are two things that, as a three-year-old, she would rather not be. But still, I read. I read her Madeline because I love Madeline’s fearlessness.

Madeline by Ludwig Behelmans

From Madeline by Ludwig Behelmans

I read her One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish because Clark terrifies and delights me as much now as he did when I was six. C needs to be terrified too. Circle of life and all.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

From One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

I read her Franklin In the Dark because she needs to be reminded that everyone – no matter how brave they seem – is scared by something. Creatures that only exist in the pages of a book, public speaking, the dark: they’re all a little disconcerting. And it’s OK to feel that way. I need that reminder, too.

Franklin In the Dark by Paulette Bourgeois

Franklin In the Dark by Paulette Bourgeois

All of these books have practical advice we both need to get through life. I’m in Arizona this weekend for Press Publish. I’m going to be getting up in front of a huge room full of people tomorrow to talk about my blog, about writing, and me.

I’ll admit it: I’m nervous.

But it’s during moments like these that I’m glad I read with C despite her disinterest in books. Even though I need to draw upon my cache of life lessons to get through my talk tomorrow, it’s what I’ve learned from Hop On Pop that will really keep me safe during my desert weekend:


From Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

Don’t be a bum. Protect your bum from the Arizona flora.

See y’all Saturday.


  1. was born speaking frensh and arabic…with time i felt in love with english and Gosh i love the US women

  2. ‘Clark’ always gave me the creeps, too. Wish I were there with you this weekend. Love you. Mom

  3. Congrats on this lucrative speaking gig, Emily! You’re a great example of where excellent writing skills and a lot of courage can take a writer early in their career. Exciting stuff! And I have to say that reading to my kids when they were little remains my favorite part of parenting. I can still recite most of “Hop on Pop” from memory. Have a wonderful weekend! (Oh, and don’t take down that first comment–it’s almost as classic as a search term list…:) )

    1. Thank you, Willow! Your longtime encouragement, support, and friendship is a huge part of why I love blogging…and you!

  4. I have nothing of value to add except OMG! I so wish I could get my daughter to stop ripping the pages out of her books! But then again, she’s 20 months old…

    1. Invest in clear packing tape. That’s what I did!

  5. Pat is an idiot. He’s already sat on someone’s hat and a cat before trying to sit on a cactus. Also, at the part when Mr. Brown comes back with Mr. Black, am I the only one who always start singing “Back in Black?”

    1. Pat seriously needs a spotter just to get through life, that’s for sure. And no, you’re not the only one.

  6. Hopefully you survived the weekend with no prickly plants getting you down!

    1. I bet you think since it took me so long to respond to your comment that I didn’t survive! But I did 😊 Thanks, Sabina. My bum is unprickled.

  7. Have a great time in AZ; I’m sure you’ll blow ’em away. :)

    1. Thanks! It was a great weekend and one of these days if I can get my act together, I’ll write about it.

  8. My daughter is 4 and i’ve persevered reading to her despite the disinterested years. I think its paying off now she can sit still long enough to enjoy the process. Keep going & Good luck !

    1. Thank you! Does your daughter like to look at books independently? I yearn for that day!

  9. Emily, I’m a picture book geek! My kids have enjoyed them more or less, girl or boys, different ages, seasons, ebbs and flows. But *I* love them! I read a lot of adult non-fiction (currently Dare Greatly which I’ll be discussing at my blog) and very little adult fiction, but picture books?…bring ’em on :D

    1. They are the BEST, right? What are some of your favorites?

      1. Oh my, Emily. Where to begin?! Classics: Where the Wild Things Are, Good Night Moon, Blueberries for Sal, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Make Way for Ducklings, Madeleine, The Story of Ferdinand, Corduroy. Quirky: Pig Pig Rides, Bootsie Barker Bites, Click Clack Moo, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! What are your faves? Hmmm…I feel some blog posts brewing :D

  10. I love this so much. Reading with our kids is magical. The stories I’ve read with mine, and the days when they light up and tell me that one of my all-time favorites is now suddenly a favorite of theirs – well, that’s a big, darn day, I tell you!

    1. It’s the best, right?! Even though we may not be there with the books yet, C likes a lot of the movies I remember enjoying as a kid, so it’s fun to get to re-watch them with her.

  11. Heather · · Reply

    I wish my mom read to me at bed time. I love those books!

  12. Love Dr. Seuss. And, love this too. :)

  13. Reading to our girls was perhaps the single, best thing we did to give them a great start in life, at least academically. And the close, snuggling bonding time was priceless.

    It’s so wonderful that you were tagged for that gig – I know you’ll be fabulous.

    1. Thanks, Peg. I love reading to her even if she isn’t into it right now. But I’m getting better at tricking her into listening quietly: we’ll play school and I’ll pretend to be her teacher. Doncha love how they’ll respect anyone but you? 😊

  14. A bit of a delayed response, but you did great in Phoenix, Emily. I was especially moved by your honesty, vulnerability, and humor — which is not surprising given that those are some of the things that I enjoy about this blog.

    Glad to meet you in person — take care for now :)

    1. That’s quite alright…I’m a bit on a delayed response to replying! Thanks for all your support, Cheri. It was a great weekend.

  15. Love dr. Seuss! How’d it go in front of the crowd?

  16. yellowmellowlife · · Reply

    such an interesting read!

  17. It’s amazing the life lessons a book can give you… I really noticed this at my high school commencement (now years ago) when a teacher read us “Oh the Places You Will Go” by Dr Seuss. Even the Lorax has great intention behind it. Weird it took me that long to realize! I didn’t get read to that often as a kid…so I enjoy reading to my lovely ladies! My favorite is when I catch them sitting on the floor, by themselves, reading (memorizing) a book we read together! LOVE!

  18. kenyonarcopeland · · Reply

    Reblogged this on KENYONA R. COPELAND.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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