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"In the 50 years since The Cat in the Hat exploded onto the children's book scene, Theodor Seuss Geisel—pen name "Dr. Seuss"—has become a central character in the American literary mythology, sharing the pantheon with the likes of Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald," according to this US News story (The Birth of a Famous Feline
). "The particular endurance of Cat, many critics say, is owed partly to its origins in an emerging philosophy of phonetic learning
. Most of the 236 individual words in the book were taken from a list of beginner words for new readers, and only a few are more than one syllable."
UPDATE: I'm not the only one who took note of this piece. D-Ed Reckoning says US News got it all wrong on the phonics thing.