Legacy of Dr Seuss lives on with author – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

Log In

Reset Password
BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

Legacy of Dr Seuss lives on with author

First Prev 1 2 3 4 Next Last

If you've read Dr Seuss, you know Tish Rabe.

She's written or adapted the late author's books since 1996.

Her popular Oh, Baby, the Places You'll Go! is part of The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library, a series of non-fiction science books for early readers.

The 64-year-old will be in Bermuda this month to read for the Bermuda National Library.

As a child, she loved Dr Seuss books. She never imagined she'd one day follow in the great author's footsteps.

“I was a huge fan,” she said. “My mother used to read to me; that was back when the Cat in the Hat was first published in 1957.”

She never imagined that one day she would be following in the great author's footsteps. Random House hired her to continue Dr Seuss's legacy after she proposed a rhyming children's science book in 1995.

“Dr Seuss died in 1991,” said Ms Rabe. “To be following in his footsteps was very exciting, but also very intimidating.”

Copying Dr Seuss's style wasn't as easy as she'd imagined.

“To get the rhythm he is famous for was super challenging at first,” she said. “Now, I am so used to it as I have been doing it for almost 20 years [but] I was super nervous when I started.”

Books for Sesame Street, Disney, Blue's Clues, Curious George and Huff and Puff are among Ms Rabe's 165 published works. She's just submitted her 19th book for Dr Seuss Enterprises.

“They have done very, very well,” she said. “They are great for children because the rhyme can help some children hold on to the facts more easily. One of my favourite lines is: ‘When birds want to go on a winter vacation, they all take a trip, and they call it migration'.”

All the books are vetted by scientists to ensure accuracy. She is most proud of Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy. Michelle Obama contributed 16 pages to the book, and read it to children at the White House in January.

“That was really exciting,” she said.

Ms Rabe didn't start out her career as a writer, but as a singer. She left her home in Connecticut to forge a career in New York in the 1970s.

“I landed a job on Sesame Street in the music production department.”

In 1983, she produced the movie Big Bird in China for Sesame Street, and was producing the children's science show, 3-2-1 Contact, when she pitched a book to Sesame Street's publishing arm. Her first book, Bert and the Broken Teapot, was published in 1985.

Thirty years on, she still enjoys the process.

“Every book is a challenge,” she said. “With each one, I try to come up with new and creative ideas. I think about what the children are going to learn from the book and what is going to involve them.

“What I have found is the importance of heart. Young readers really have to emotionally connect with the characters.”

She loves getting messages from her young fans. She tries to answer all of them.

“Usually, they just write to me telling me they just read one of my books and really liked it,” she said.

Two of her biggest fans are her young grandsons. “It's a joy to read my books to them,” she said. “They both love my book Love You, Hug You, Read to You and have fun answering the questions on each page.”

• Ms Rabe will speak at the Youth Library Auditorium on Church Street from 5.30pm to 7pm on September 24. Families are invited to bring their dinner for an evening of stories and songs. To register: 295-0487 ext 1272 or mlsmith@gov.bm.

• People are invited to drop in for a second reading at the library on Saturday, September 26 from 10.30am to 11.30am.

• Ms Rabe will also speak at the Berkeley Institute Cafetorium from 2pm to 4pm that day.

• Tickets are $5 for adults and $2.50 for children for library members and $10 for adults and $5 for children who aren't.

• Tickets are on sale at both libraries.

• Watch Michelle Obama read Ms Rabe's book here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETjcBmdL6As.

Prolific author: Children's writer Tish Rabe, who has written books for Sesame Street and Disney, will speak in Bermuda this month
Captivated audience: Michelle Obama at the White House in January reading Tish Rabe's Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy
Prolific children's author Tish Rabe with some of the characters she has written for. (Photograph supplied)
White House approval: Michelle Obama read this publication and it is one of Ms Rabe's favourites

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published September 14, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated September 14, 2015 at 1:53 am)

Legacy of Dr Seuss lives on with author

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon