Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! An Ode from Children & Adults Alike

When I was in high school we had a physics project to build a real boat out of butcher paper and wood that would actually float in water. We were given extra credit for coming up with a theme and dressing up the boat as well as ourselves. Somehow our amateur physics skills resulted in a boat that looked like the red and white striped hat from Cat in The Hat. We ended up putting one of us dressed up as the cat in the boat, while the rest of us were the children. That was my first rendezvous with one of Dr. Seuss’s books as a special event theme.

While Dr. Seuss is no longer with us, his 60 books, which have sold more than 600 million copies and translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death, continue to inspire generations and the way children’s books are written. The beloved children’s author, would turn 112 years old this year on March 2nd. And every year children and schools across America celebrate him and his contribution to children’s literacy with National Read Across America Day.

He single-handedly forged a new genre of art that falls somewhere between the surrealist movement of the early 20th century and the inspired nonsense of a child’s classroom doodles. Hallmarks of Dr. Seuss book pictures include bright primary colors. For example, the vibrant reds and blues featured in The Cat in the Hat were selected because he felt this combination would be most engaging for the target audience of children ages 4-8.

Seuss JuiceHe had that right and those colors have become the trademark of many Dr. Seuss inspired birthday parties and décor. It’s sort of the Seuss Juice of special events. I am paying ode with my own recipe for Seuss Juice.

Dr. Seuss Juice

Use Blue Mason Jars and Red Straws, fill with water or lemonade (any fairly clear colored drink will work, so that the color of the blue jar is not distorted).

Underlying Messages & Political Stance of Dr. Seuss Books

Dr. Seuss’s ability to move a  storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement, and color became a symbol of his children’s literature, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience. Dr. Seuss not only made children’s books fun to read and made kids want to read them repeatedly, but his books have underlying moral messages in the quirky wordplay, nonsense words, and wild drawings, which children most likely subconsciously absorb to understand the deeper meanings later in life.

Dr. Seuss, who’s actual name is Theodor Seuss Geisel, was also a liberal and a moralist who expressed his views in his books to take aim at bullies, hypocrites, and demagogues. I think this made him not only a children’s book author but his literature was for adults alike. Parents as they read his books to their children take away the messages he expressed in his stories. As a matter of fact, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote adult literature as well. The first was The Seven Lady Godivas (1939; reprinted 1987), a retelling of the Lady Godiva legend that included nude depictions; and the second was You’re Only Old Once! (written in 1986 when Geisel was 82), which chronicles an old man’s journey through a clinic. His last book was Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, which published the year before his death, and although a children’s book, became a popular gift for graduating students.

So, when we come up with birthday party themes and creative menus using Dr. Seuss’s many books for children, why don’t we use his colorful ideas in our grown up parties as well? I can think of graduation celebrations, literature parties, or environmentalist events that could use a little lightening up and color which The Lorax could do with ease. The Lorax is a smart—and totally hilarious—way to help kids connect with the natural world and explore their own relationship with it, but if this were a story for grownups, The Lorax is blunt with its intense messaging.

The Lorax

Did you know that The Lorax is now a Disney Pixar movie and was in fact called propaganda by Dr. Seuss himself? It is his classic tale of needless consumerism and environmental ruin. Dr. Seuss shows what the recklessness of human consumption and the culture of industry that we have created will and can do to the fragility of nature. The nostalgic aspect to the story gives the reader a chance to feel compassion towards the fleeting existence of nature. Another parallel that the book draws could be the comparison of faceless big corporations and the Once-ler whose face the book never shows. But it ends with a glimmer of hope, as a single Truffula seed is left behind. The book’s essential message is that we are given one planet yet we continue to sacrifice it to live a frivolous and materialistic lifestyle. It only takes one person to stand up for what is right, and that person is you.

lorax birthday party

Cat in The Hat

The Lorax is a fairly grim tale compared to Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat, for sure. However, all of Seuss’s books reflect the era in which they are written and the current events surrounding it. The Cat in the Hat was written as a challenge in 1954 in response to an article in Life Magazine that claimed that widespread illiteracy was caused by children being bored with books. The Cat in the Hat had an underlying theme that endorsed rebellion in children. Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat because he thought the famous Dick and Jane primers were insanely boring. Because kids weren’t interested in the material, they weren’t exactly compelled to use it repeatedly in their efforts to learn to read. So, The Cat in the Hat was born. “I have great pride in taking Dick and Jane out of most school libraries,” he said. “That is my greatest satisfaction.”

That famous red and white striped hat that the cat wears is loved by adults and children everywhere. It’s almost the first thing that pops into everyone’s mind when they hear the name Dr. Seuss. So, I had to pay tribute to the famous book with The Cat in The Hat Shots that adults and children can both enjoy. Raspberry Trifle in shot glasses signify the famous hat with perfection.

cat in the hat raspberry triffle

Raspberry Yogurt Trifle Cat in The Hat Shots


raspberry sauceRaspberry Sauce Layer (You can use store bought or make it)

2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

Yogurt Layer

Plain Greek yogurt (no sugar or flavor added)


To make the sauce, in a saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir and mash the raspberries until they are completely broken down.

Cook on low-medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. The mixture shouldn’t be runny; it should be the consistency of a sauce.

Let cool.

After the mixture has cooled completely, layer the shot glass with a tablespoon of yogurt and raspberry sauce alternating.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

“A person’s a person, no matter how small. Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.”

The wise words come directly from Seuss’s pen making a mission statement for his writing, but it could also be the thesis for One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. It may seem like a simple book of rhymes, but it’s also about having wonder and delight—in anything and everything, no matter how strange, offbeat, or wacky. Even though the text is lighthearted, a deeper meaning can be pulled out of the fun, which is that everyone is different and we don’t know why, but we have to accept it. Just as it is expressed in the lines, “Yes. Some are red. And some are blue. Some are old. And some are new, Some are sad, And some are glad, And some are very, very bad. Why are they sad and glad and bad? I do not know. Go ask your dad.”

Bringing the elements of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish to life, I have pink ink to drink for both adults and children alike who like to drink and wink like the Yink in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish!

Strawberry Milk Shake for the Kids & Pink Ink Cocktail for the Adults

dr.seuss pink ink drink

Strawberry Milk Shake


8 ounces strawberries, stemmed and sliced

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2   pint vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup milk


Blend half of strawberries, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup ice cream and 1/4 milk in blender until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses. Repeat with remaining strawberries, vanilla, ice cream and milk. Serve immediately.

seuss pink inkPink Ink Cocktail


8 ounces strawberries, stemmed and sliced

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 pint vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup Vodka


Blend half of strawberries, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup ice cream and 1/4 cup Vodka in blender until smooth. Pour into glasses. Repeat with remaining strawberries, vanilla, ice cream and Vodka. Serve immediately.

dr.seuss inspired pink ink cocktail

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