Kids these days read for an average of just 30 minutes a day, but in 1999, before distractions like tablets, smartphones, and on-demand cartoons were in millions of homes, kids between the ages of two and seven read for 45 minutes on average every day.
This August, young kids have an exciting reason to start reading again, although they might not appreciate just how lucky they are.
From coast to coast, readers of all ages are celebrating the release of a rare gift — the first new Dr. Seuss book released in 25 years. What Pet Should I Get? isn’t the first posthumous Dr. Seuss book to hit bookshelves, but it is the first illustrated in the author’s own hand.
On August 1, the San Diego History Center launched an exhibition called “INGENIOUS! The World of Dr. Seuss,” a hands-on interactive tribute to the beloved author. The SDHC joined with the local humane society to present a special reading of the new book, complete with animal guests. And in Florida, athletes at Florida State University read the book aloud to children while animal rescue groups brought by real-life pets for families to adopt.
“Well, we’re a bookstore so we try to reach out to the community and we thought it would be a great idea to have an event for kids and students, grownups, everybody,” said FSU bookstore director Anna Woods. “So it’s fun!”
Outside of literary stardom, Dr. Seuss was known as Theodore Seuss Geisel. The new book’s discovery has been called a “miracle” by literary historians and Dr. Seuss fans. The author’s widow, Audrey Geisel, reportedly discovered the old manuscript tucked away inside the family archives.
What Pet Should I Get? tells the story of a brother and sister who visit a pet store and, well, you can probably imagine. The Seuss Family Archives says they believe the manuscript predates the classic Seussian tale One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
The book is on sale now at bookstores everywhere.