The Cat in the Hat is a a tall anthropomorphic cat, who wears a red and white-striped hat and a red bow tie and sometimes has an umberella with him mostly green, blue or red.
- The Cat in the Hat (book)
- The Cat's Quizzer
- The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary
- The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
- I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!
- Daisy-Head Mayzie
Films and direct to video programs
- Dr. Seuss on the Loose
- The Cat in the Hat (1971 cartoon)
- Daisy-Head Mayzie (TV Special)
- The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat
An article by John Hersey about literacy in early childhood provided inspiration for The Cat in the Hat.
Theodor Geisel, writing as Dr. Seuss, created The Cat in the Hat partly in response to the May 24, 1954, Life magazine article by John Hersey titled "Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading". In the article, Hersey was critical of school primers like those featuring Dick and Jane:
After detailing many issues contributing to the dilemma connected with student reading levels, Hersey asked toward the end of the article:
This article caught the attention of William Spaulding, who had met Geisel during the war and who was then the director of Houghton Mifflin's education division.Spaulding had also read the best-selling 1955 book Why Johnny Can't Read by Rudolf Flesch. Flesch, like Hersey, criticized primers as boring but also criticized them for teaching reading through word recognition rather than phonics. In 1955, Spaulding invited Geisel to dinner in Boston where he proposed that Geisel create a book "for six- and seven-year olds who had already mastered the basic mechanics of reading". He reportedly challenged, "Write me a story that first-graders can't put down!"
At the back of Why Johnny Can't Read, Flesch had included 72 lists of words that young children should be able to read, and Spaulding provided Geisel with a similar list. Geisel later told biographers Judith and Neil Morgan that Spaulding had supplied him with a list of 348 words that every six-year-old should know and insisted that the book's vocabulary be limited to 225 words. However, according to Philip Nel, Geisel gave varying numbers in interviews from 1964 to 1969. He variously claimed that he could use between 200 and 250 words from a list of between 300 and 400; the finished book contains 236 different words.