Few children's authors have the notoriety of Dr. Seuss, who taught generations of children to read and reminded us all to be a little kinder to each other throughout his career. And since it's the prolific writer's birthday on March 2, here are the 16 best Dr. Seuss quotes to inspire you and remind you of the good old days. Get ready to rhyme all day long.
I can't remember my life before Dr. Seuss, nor can my parents' generation, as kids have voraciously read his books since his debut book came out in 1937, according to NPR. Most people know Seuss for his famous classics, like Horton Hears A Who, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and The Cat In The Hat, but the author and illustrator actually has 44 books to his name, as Parents reported, dominating kids lit by sheer numbers alone. No wonder you can't escape elementary school without reading at least one of his stories, though I'm not sure there are many children who would intentionally avoid a Seuss book. Indeed, his whacky and heartwarming work is so beloved that he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 "For his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America's children and their parents."
So read on for a few of Seuss's best quotes from his books and his life, and make sure to read a book in his honor on the 2nd. We owe him that much.
1. "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." — "Happy Birthday To You"
There's something so powerful in realizing no one else in the world can be exactly who you are, and Seuss sums it up with ease and relatability.
2. "A person’s a person, no matter how small." — "Horton Hears A Who"
Horton Hears A Who should be required reading to ensure everyone develops empathy, and I stand by that.
3. "So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!" — "Horton Hears A Who"
If Dr. Seuss says my voice matters, I believe it.
4. "All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you'll be quite a lot!" — "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
This quote is somewhat underrated, but I'd argue it's one of the most important things Seuss wrote. People fear being alone so much, but it's a natural part of life. The simple reminder that we're all on our own sometimes brings reassurance.
5. "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." — "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that we aren't stuck in our current situations.
6. "The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." — "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
Next time your little one asks why they have to go to school, just say this back.
7. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." — "The Lorax"
The Lorax's message of caring for the planet has never been more relevant, and I think everyone could use a gentle reminder that changes starts with individual people making choices.
8. "Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope."
I think everyone would be a lot happier if they spent a little more time using their imaginations.
9. "Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" — "I Had Trouble In Getting To Solla Sollew"
This is the original what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
10. "Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
Honestly, that sums up pretty much every adult problem I've ever had. (No wonder it was listed as a Dr. Seuss quote to live by on USA Today.)
11. "You're in pretty good shape for the shape you're in." — "You're Only Old Once"
Finally, a realistic pep talk.
12. “Everything stinks till it’s finished.”
This one applies to dirty diapers, homework, fights with loved ones. You name it. This is definitely one of the most relatable Dr. Seuss quotes ever.
13. “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.” — "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
I usually roll my eyes a bit when someone tells me to just go with the flow, but this sentiment rings true. You've just gotta keep going.
14. "You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut!" — "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"
The line was originally about reading, but it applies to all of life. Aladdin and Jasmine have a whole song about it.
15. “It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
Like "teach a man to fish" for people who don't like to fish, this oft-repeated quote is an important one to re-read from time to time.