Celebrating Seuss

Celebrating Seuss, pg. 2

Q: Can you tell us about his creative process?

A: He'd get an idea and scuffle over to wherever I was and say, "I believe I've got it." I learned to not ask what "it" was. I'd just say, "That's fine." Then he'd scuffle out and begin. He'd write for a while, then he'd draw for a while. Nothing stopped him, and it would get to be midnight. He'd go on and on until he reached a stopping place that worked for him. Once or twice, not very often, he'd dry out and have no further thought. He would then drag the easel out and paint. He'd paint for a particular period of time and his paintings would have nothing to do with what he was writing and drawing [before]. It would be entirely separate but have his style. If he still had difficulty getting back to his work, he'd read suspense paperbacks and finish one a day.

Q: Of all his books, what was his favorite?

A: It's like choosing which child you really, really like. He was fond of The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax. But he seemed to be fondest of whatever book he was working on [at the moment]. He liked everything he did, really.

Q: Many of Dr. Seuss's books have a deeper meaning. Is there one universal message that your husband wanted to convey through his books?

A: The last 20 years, the years when I was with him, he did his most serious work. But his books were always funny and catchy. He did have a message and the messages were serious -- they were about war, about preservation of our lands, about how one should treat one's neighbors -- but there was no preaching.

Q: What would you say is your husband's greatest legacy?

A: His greatest legacy is the boost he gave literacy, which I carry on as my number one philanthropy.

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