Feet in Your Shoes

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. – Dr. Seuss

Dr. SeussTheodor Seuss Geisel, the man behind the Cat in the Hat, was born 107 years ago today.

He is the beloved creator of countless whimsical literary characters. His books promote the fun aspect of literacy, education and morality as well!

He wrote The Cat in the Hat in response to an article which was published in Life magazine in 1954by John Hersey, titled “Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading.” The piece criticized school primers as intensely boring, unchallenging, and responsible for causing harm to children’s literacy. The article called for more primers to up the excitement by energizing the language and including drawings like those of “imaginative geniuses among children’s illustrators, Tenniel, Howard Pyle, Theodor S. Geisel.” Using the piece as a call to action, Geisel and his publisher came up with a list of 400 “exciting” words, which Seuss than narrowed down for the book. The Cat in the Hat uses a total vocabulary of 236 words.

Oceanhouse Media took Seuss titles and made them into rich, interactive apps-Books for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Each book has the option to read to your child or allow them to explore the book themselves. Turning pages is as easy as swiping the screen. The apps from Oceanhouse Media not only hit that ideal middle ground between book and interactive game, but are specifically geared toward word recognition and reading. The user can tap just about any item on the page to hear and see the word for that item.

Seussville (Random House) is also a great way to explore his books, characters and have some online fun at the same time.

Were you celebrating today? What is your favourite Seuss book?

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…  — Dr. Seuss

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but honestly Monica

This past month I have been mesmerized by the creation of a collaborative digital story.  A multimodal networked storytelling extravaganza,  contributed to by thousands.

It is a tale of villianous Judith Griggs, editor of Cooks Source Magazine.  For those unfamiliar with the story, an article written by blogger Monica Gaudio was reprinted without permission in the October issue of Cooks Source magazine. Gaudio claims that she contacted the editor, Judith Griggs, requesting an apology and a $130 donation to be made to the Columbia School of Journalism. Gaudio, unsatisfied by the email response she received from Griggs, posted an excerpt of the email message on her LiveJournal blog entitled “Illadore’s House o Crack.” The post was picked up by Twitter and Facebook users. Eventually big names like Boing Boing, Salon.com, The New York Times, and The Guardian, to mention a few, picked up on it too.

Griggs fueled the story by refusing to apologize, berating Monica and by posting sarcastic comments on the magazines facebook page.

The Internet community reacted swiftly, with humor, but also aggressively, bombarding the Cooks Source Facebook page with insults and creating a series of mocking fake Twitter accounts for both the magazine and Griggs.  Videos appeared on YouTube and thousands of bloggers voiced their opinion.

The Internet Community turned a case of copyright theft into a multimodal networked collaborative digital story with humor, intrigue, scandal and tragedy. Villian became victim as Griggs faced unleashed cyberbullying. Recently she announced the closure of the cooking magazine and the www.cookssource.com URL now directs you to Intuit.com, a web hosting company.  The Facebook page has been closed.