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Paradise Canyon Cougars become cats in hats for annual ‘Seuss Day’ family read-in

Paradise Canyon Elementary School students hopped on pops (and a couple of moms) Friday morning, imagining the tastiness of green eggs and ham and contemplating all the places they’ll go during an annual read-in honoring famed children’s author Dr. Seuss.

Moms and dads, students and teachers spread blankets across the school’s quad area and brought light snacks to enjoy a spirited 30-minute reading session designed to help bring reading to life for second-graders.

Teacher Pam Watts looked out on a sea of red and white hats, designed to replicate the classic chapeau worn by Seuss protagonist the Cat in the Hat, and described the event’s origin.

Coordinated around author Theodor Seuss Geisel’s March 2 birthday — he died in 1991 but would have been 115 this year — and celebrated as National Read Across America Day, “Seuss Day” is a longstanding PCY tradition that ties into lessons about the author.

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“Not only did he do a lot of his books for fun and to encourage and motivate students to read, but he also explored certain political and environmental themes,” said Watts, a self-proclaimed Seuss nerd wise to Geisel’s methods. “He took the 50 most high frequency words and turned it into ‘The Cat and the Hat.”

Paradise Canyon second-grade teacher Alison Parra was being treated to a special reading of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” by second-grade daughter Madeline.

“We’ve done this Read Across America Dr. Seuss birthday celebration as long as I’ve been here, but this is my first time celebrating with her,” she said.

Nearby, parents Shawn and Jennifer Brooks wore a pair of homemade hats as they read aloud with daughter Charlotte and son Max, who’ve been enjoying Suess rhymes since they were babies.

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“It was something I loved as a kid,” Jennifer Brooks said of the Dr. Seuss catalog. “My parents read it to me, and we read it to them and now they’re reading it to us.”

Charlotte stated her preference for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” while Max opted for something a little riskier — the tongue twister ‘Fox in Socks,’ which comes with a warning on the inside cover.

Take it slowly. This book is dangerous, it reads.

“I like this book,” Max said with glee.

sara.cardine@latimes.com

Twitter: @SaraCardine


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