From there to here, from here to there

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), took the art of Surrealism and the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, combined them with childhood memories of early cars and machinery in New England and then the flora of his adult home in southern California, and created the famous illustrations for his over sixty books.  (His Green Eggs and Ham is the fourth best-selling English-language children’s book of all time.)

His strange plants and landscapes — tops of mops, spikes, and feathers; elongated, twisty trunks; improbable angles, odd hills and rocks — form a visual vocabulary that we all understand and use routinely.  These are just a few of the many, many snapshots I found by typing in “Dr. Seuss” and searching

Photo by Randy Robertson, labeled “Dr. Seuss Plant Silhouette.”  All three photos via, under CC license.
“Dr. Seuss Bush” by Shawn Henning.
“Dr. Seuss Trees” by Allan Ferguson.

A 2010 article from the News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, has a list of plants that also look Seuss-y, here.  Among others, they recommend weeping sequoia, Nootka cypress, and contorted hazelnut.

If you want to visit a Dr. Seuss-style landscape, the blog SPOTCOOLSTUFF has 10 “Places That Look Dr Seuss-ish” around the world, here.

ADDENDUM: Today is also the NEA’s Read Across America Day, here. And The Washington Post is calling for Seuss-inspired verse about current events, here.


9 thoughts on “From there to here, from here to there

  1. Thanks for the reference to PlayGroundology in your post. That carved log in Cornwall, England really is beautiful in its simplicity. You might also be interested in Kinderspielkunst –
    Many years ago, I lived in Sénégal for 5 months as part of an international youth exchange. I still treasure that brief time spent in Africa.
    Cheers, Alex

  2. Love the Dr. We’ll be playing with Dr. Seuss and The Lorax fabric at work today, brings back such great memories of sitting and reading with the kids!:)
    Who wouldn’t want a Dr. Seuss bush in their yard?:)

  3. Cindy, I didn’t discover Dr. Seuss books until I was a teenager reading them to my (much) younger sister. I had never thought about the botanical origins of some of his creations; this was fun.

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