Left foot, left foot
Right foot, Right.
Feet in the morning,
Feet at night.
Who would imagine that four lines of verse could be so language-rich with opposites (left-right, morning-night), irregular plurals (foot-feet), temporal concepts (morning-night), and rhyming words (right-night)? These four lines are but a taste of the genius of Dr. Seuss. Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss was best known for writing and illustrating more than 60 books. He is undoubtedly one of the most popular children’s book authors of all time.
Dr. Seuss books are fun, filled with colorful, silly characters, and made-up words. Not only do his books entertain, they facilitate children’s development. Repetition, rhythm, and rhyme play important roles in infants’ development of speech and language. The books can help children cultivate a love of reading books. Dr. Seuss books are often a staple in general education classrooms (especially lower elementary) to support skills such as counting, rhyming, and decoding CVC words, but the books can also be of great benefit in speech-language therapy. Here are some ways:
As a personal testimony of the value of Dr. Seuss books, my 16-month old granddaughter already shows a love for them. One of her favorites is The Foot Book. She recently found the book in a stack of her favorites and brought it to me to read to her. After opening it, she exclaimed, “fee, fee, fee” (trying to say “feet, feet, feet”)! This tells me that she is absorbing the repetition, sounds, and vocabulary. What wonderful benefit! If you’ve never read a Dr. Seuss book, you’re missing a treat! They are fun to read and packed with instructional benefits for all children, but particularly those who need growth in their speech and language skills.
Author: Colleen H. Williams, SLP.D