COLUMN: Social distancing with Dr. Seuss

Published 6:06 pm Monday, April 6, 2020

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

On March 2, I had the pleasure of meeting former Alabama and NFL running back Trent Richardson as well as YouTube personality Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson. They were among several celebrities and volunteers who visited Pelham Oaks Elementary School to celebrate National Read Across America Day—a day held on the birthday of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss.

I was impressed with the way Trent and Jermaine interacted with the students. Trent had students sitting on both sides of him, and they all took turns reading from Charles Ghigna’s “Alabama My Home Sweet Home!”

I thought it was a nice touch to read a book that focused on state history, civil rights and athletics. When he got to the page on Bo Jackson, Trent asked the students if there were any Auburn fans among them. Predictably, this elicited numerous responses of “Roll Tide” and I’m sure there was a “War Eagle” in their somewhere.

I also laughed along with the children when Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson read Mac Barnett’s “President Taft is Stuck in the Bath” which hilariously depicts the past U.S. President in a sticky situation.

One of the readers happened to be recently retired POES Principal Deberah Miller, who read my personal favorite Dr. Seuss book, “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.”

One thing about myself is that I have a respectable collection of Dr. Seuss books. I truly believe even adults can get inspiration from classics like “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

Perhaps the reason I’m so fond of the “Cat in the Hat” sequel is because the cats under each hat keep getting smaller and smaller. It’s a brilliant way to teach the alphabet, as there is a cat representing each letter. By the time you get to Cat Z, he’s microscopic.

Speaking of microscopic, we’re battling an unseen enemy right now—COVID-19. And because we don’t know where this enemy will pop up, and because it’s so easily spread, we should each do our part to stay home.

Please do your part! You can always pass the time by reading some Dr. Seuss to your kids—or yourself.