- You make 'em, I amuse 'em.
- Statement about children, as quoted in Enter, Conversing (1962) by Clifton Fadiman, p. 108
- Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It's more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.
- As quoted in "Author Isn't Just a Cat in the Hat" by Miles Corwin in The Los Angeles Times (27 November 1983); also in Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004) by Philip Nel, p. 38
- When at last we are sure
You’ve been properly pilled,
Then a few paper forms
Must be properly filled
So that you and your heirs
May be properly billed.
- You're Only Old Once! : A Book for Obsolete Children (1986)
- You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
- On becoming a writer, NY Times (May 21, 1986)
- Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.
- On writing for adults, as quoted in Of Sneetches and Whos and the Good Dr. Seuss: Essays on the Writings and Life of Theodor Geisel (1997) by Thomas Fensch, p. 96
- I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
- As quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) by Larry Chang, p. 376
- Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
- As quoted in Looking Tall by Standing Next to Short People, Other Techniques for Managing a Law Firm (2007) by H. Edward Wesemann and The Lucky One (2012).
- And that is a story that no one can beat,
When I say that I saw it on Mulberry Street.
Horton Hatches the Egg (1940)
Horton Hears a Who! (1954)
- On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool,
In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
He was splashing... enjoying the jungle's great joys...
When Horton the elephant heard a small noise.
- A person's a person, no matter how small.
- "My friends!", cried the elephant.
"Tell me! Do tell!
Are you safe? Are you sound?
Are you whole? Are you well?"
- "You're going to be roped!
And you're going to be caged!
And, as for your dust speck – hah!
That we shall boil in a hot steaming kettle of Beezle-Nut Oil!"
- "Don't give up! I believe in you all.
A person's a person, no matter how small!
And you very small persons will not have to die
If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!"
- "This", cried the Mayor, "is your town's darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!", he said.
"We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!"
On Beyond Zebra! (1955)
- Oh the things you can find
If you don't stay behind!
- In the places I go there are things that I see
That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.
I'm telling you this 'cause you're one of my friends.
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!
The Cat in the Hat (1957)
- We looked! Then we saw him
Step in on the mat!
We looked! And we saw him!
The Cat in the Hat!
- "Maybe Christmas", he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"
- In Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
Yertle the Turtle (1958)
- And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course... all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.
- I know up on top you are seeing great sights,
But down here on the bottom,
We too should have rights.
- From there to here,
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.
Green Eggs and Ham (1960)
- Sam I am
I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am.
- I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them Sam I Am.
I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
The Lorax (1971)
- "Mister!", he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues,
And I'm asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs" –
He was very upset as he shouted and puffed –
"What's that THING you've made out of my Truffula tuft?"
- I am the Lorax! I speak for the trees,
Which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please;
But I also speak for the brown Barbaloots,
Who frolicked and played in their Barbaloot suits,
Happily eating Truffula fruits.
Now, since you've chopped the trees to the ground
There's not enough Truffula fruit to go 'round!
And my poor Barbaloots are all feeling the crummies
Because they have gas, and no food, in their tummies.
- Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not.
- Catch! calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.
- Now all that was left 'neath the bad-smelling sky
was my big empty factory...
The Lorax said nothing
just gave me a glance.
Just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance.
He lifted himself by the seat of his pants
and I'll never forget the grim look on his face
as he hoisted himself and took leave of this place
through a hole in the smog without leaving a trace
and all that the Lorax left here in this mess was a small pile of rocks with one word.
- And suppose that you lived
In that forest in France
Where the average young person
Just hasn't a chance
To escape from the perilous
Pants eating plants!
- You oughta be thankful
A whole heaping lot
For the people and places
You're lucky you're not.
- The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you’ll go.
- Young cat! If you keep
Your eyes open enough,
Oh, the stuff you will learn!
The most wonderful stuff!
- you'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut
Oh, the Places You'll Go! (1990)
- You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
- With your head full of brains,
And your shoes full of feet,
You're too smart to go down a not-so-good-street.
- Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don't worry, don't stew.
Just go right along, you'll start happening too!
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- Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
- Though sometimes attributed to Dr. Seuss without a citation of source, this is more often cited as merely an anonymous proverb.
- This quote has been attributed to Gabriel García Márquez, in Spanish: "No llores porque ya se terminó... sonríe, porque sucedió."
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- Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.
- Bernard Baruch in response to a question by Igor Cassini as to how he handled the seating arrangements at his dinner parties, as quoted in Shake Well Before Using: A New Collection of Impressions and Anecdotes Mostly Humorous (1948) by Bennett Cerf, p. 249; the full response was "I never bother about that. Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." This anecdote is also quoted online at Chiasmus.com. It has also become part of a larger expression, which has been commonly attributed to Dr. Seuss, even in print, but without citation of a specific work: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- You want my opinion? We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love.
- Robert Fulghum in True Love (1998). Versions attributed to Dr. Seuss usually run "mutual weirdness".
- Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
- Georges Duhamel in THE HEART'S DOMAIN (1919). As it was composed in French, the wording in English may vary in translation. Theodore Geisel / Dr. Seuss was born in 1904, and would have been about 15 years old at the time that it was published. The full text can be found at the link below: We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory. Like the images the photographer plunges into a golden bath, our sentiments take on color; and only then, after that recoil and that trans-figuration, do we understand their real meaning and enjoy them in all their tranquil splendor.
Last modified on 19 April 2013, at 04:18
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- Brief biography of Dr. Seuss (UC San Diego)
- The Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss (UC San Diego)
- The complete Dr. Seuss editorial cartoons (UC San Diego)
- An essay by Melissa Kaplan
- Seussville site (Random House)
- The Dr. Seuss Web Page
- Dr. Seuss on the web
- Full text of the Heart's Domain by Georges Duhamel.