Are you fascinated by the writer and cartoonist who published more than 60 books including beloved bestsellers such as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat? If you want to learn more about Theodor Seuss Geisel, you will like the following selection of the most inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes. And for even more pearls of wisdom about life and happiness, have a look at our collection of empowering Maya Angelou quotes.
Dr. Seuss was not only an all-time favorite writer for generations of Americans but he also serves as a remarkable example of what you can accomplish if you have the determination to persist. The very first book he wrote was rejected by a total of 27 publishing companies. If he had given up back then, there wouldn’t be any of his wonderful books and none of the movies that brought his visions to a larger audience.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Without a doubt, Theodor Seuss Geisel has been one of the greatest authors of children’s books. Unmatched by any other, he was able to embed important life lessons and much of his insightful wisdom into his literary works for kids. In order to celebrate the author and poet, we have created the following selection of hand-picked Dr. Seuss quotes that are brimming with inspirational thoughts.
Dr. Seuss, who was born in 1904 as Theodor Seuss Geisel, first came into contact with the literary genre of comedy as the editor-in-chief of the humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern at the age of 18. After being kicked off from the magazine’s staff for a prohibition law violation, he focused on his studies in Oxford.
Theodor Seuss Geisel’s interest in humor never subsided, which is why he started working as a cartoonist upon his return to America. After working for magazines and in corporate advertising departments, Geisel was offered to illustrate a children’s book. And even though the book was a failure, it was his first contact with children’s literature, which left a remaining impression upon him.
It was by then that Dr. Seuss found his true profession, which was highlighted by the dedication that led him to publish his numerous books in the years to follow. In fact, Theodor Seuss Geisel would spend more than eight hours a day writing in the observation tower he acquired after the war. The works he published in the following five decades differentiated themselves with their unique vocabulary style, which was simplified for children without leaving the impression of talking down to them.
155 Life-Changing Dr. Seuss Quotes
Reading through the materials of Dr. Seuss can have a profound impact on you. His insightful words have the power to lift you up when life drags you down and they can also encourage you to never give up working towards your dreams. Not to mention the nostalgia you experience when reading his materials if you grew up with his works.
However, it can be sometimes a bit frustrating to uncover all the pearls of wisdom inside of his sizable collection of works. To help you save a lot of time, we have selected the most inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes for you – no need to read more than 60 books.
To give you a better overview, we have categorized the following quotes into these sections:
- Inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes
- Dr. Seuss love quotes
- Dr. Seuss quotes for kids
- Dr. Seuss graduation quotes
- Dr. Seuss reading quotes
- Dr. Seuss ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go’ quotes
- Dr. Seuss weird quotes
“Take every chance, drop every fear.”
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
“Only you can control your future.”
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”
“I submitted [And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street] to twenty-seven publishers. It was turned down by all twenty-seven. The main reason they all gave was there was nothing similar on the market, so of course, it wouldn’t sell.”
“After the twenty-seventh publisher had turned it down, I was taking the book home to my apartment, to burn it in the incinerator.”
“I believe in luck. If I’d been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I would be in the dry-cleaning business today.”
“I can’t draw things the way they are. I just get at the soul of things.”
“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
“Think and wonder, wonder and think.”
“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom, we, too, should have rights.”
“Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted.”
Do you want more Dr. Seuss quotes? Read on…
“Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.”
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
“When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.”
“We should strive to treat each other with common human decency.”
“It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is what it will become.”
“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
“I am what I am, what a great thing to be.”
“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”
“Fiction is ny addiction.”
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”
“Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.”
“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
“Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.”
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”
“Nothing is going to change, unless someone does something soon.”
“Children’s reading and children’s thinking are the rock-bottom base upon which this country will rise. Or not rise. In these days of tension and confusion, writers are beginning to realize that books for children have a greater potential for good or evil than any other form of literature on earth.”
“You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.”
“I see things more clearly with a little astigmatism.”
“Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Dr. Seuss quotes like this are brimming with wisdom
“And the turtles of course… all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”
“You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
“I start drawing, and eventually, the characters involve themselves in a situation. Then, in the end, I go back and try to cut out most of the preachments.”
“Oh, what a day. I will make it a holiday.”
“You very small persons will not have to die
If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!”
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax all you need is a book.”
“No matter what you do, somebody always imputes meaning into your books.”
“I treat the child as an equal.”
“I’m subversive as hell! I’ve always had a mistrust of adults… The Cat in the Hat is a revolt against authority.”
“Stop telling such outlandish tales.
Stop turning minnows into whales.”
“Got something new, maybe it’ll work before the end of the day if that’s ok.”
“I’m naive enough to believe that society will be changed by examination of ideas through books and the press and that information can prove to be greater than the dissemination of stupidity.”
“I discovered the excitement of ‘marrying’ words to pictures.”
“It took me almost a quarter of a century to find the proper way to get my words and pictures married.”
“I remember a long period in which I drew nothing but gargoyles. They were easier than Mona Lisas.”
“I’d been working for Judge about four months when I drew this accidental cartoon which changed my whole life. It was an insecticide gag.”
“I would like to say I went into children’s-book work because of my great understanding of children. I went in because it wasn’t excluded by my Standard Oil contract.”
“I first began to realize that if I hoped to succeed in the book world, I’d have to write, as well as draw.”
“While floating around Europe trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I decided at one point that I would be the Great American Novelist. And so I sat down and wrote the Great American Novel.”
“The main reason that I picked ‘Seuss’ professionally is that I still thought I was one day going to write the Great American Novel. I was saving my real name for that — and it looks like I still am.”
” “I was bogged down with old High German and Gothic and stuff of that sort, in which I have no interest whatsoever — and I don’t think anybody really should.”
“Somehow or other I got through high school and Dartmouth without taking one history course.”
“You have to look at these things in the perspective of fifty years ago. These things may have been considered funny then, I hope — but today I sort of wonder.”
“I wasn’t very interested in the subtle niceties and complexities of English literature. As you go through the notebook, there’s a growing incidence of flying cows and strange beasts. And, finally, at the last page of the notebook, there are no notes on English literature at all. There are just strange beasts.”
“My father, to save face with Maurice Sherman and others, had to dig up the money to send me to Oxford, anyway.”
Here are some Dr. Seuss quotes about his past
“Almost every night I’d be working in the Jack-o-Lantern office, and while waiting for Whit’s morning paper, across the hall, to go to press, we used to play a bit of poker.”
“I stay out of politics because if I begin thinking too much about politics, I’ll probably… drop writing children’s books and become a political cartoonist again.”
“The problem with writing a book in verse is, to be successful it has to sound like you knocked it off on a rainy Friday afternoon. It has to sound easy.”
“The main problem with writing in verse is, if your fourth line doesn’t come out right, you’ve got to throw four lines away and figure out a whole new way to attack the problem. So the mortality rate is terrific.”
“I think I had something to do with kicking Dick and Jane out of the school system. I think I proved to a number of million kids that reading is not a disagreeable task. And without talking about teaching, I think I have helped kids laugh in schools as well as at home. That’s about enough, isn’t it?”
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
“Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.”
“Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
“People are weird. When we find someone with weirdness that is compatible with ours, we team up and call it love.”
“Welcome Christmas while we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.”
“‘My friends!’ cried the elephant. ‘Tell me! Do tell! Are you safe? Are you sound? Are you whole? Are you well?‘„
“You really can’t teach reading as a science. Love gets mixed up in it.”
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”
“The best slogan I can think of to leave with the kids of the U.S.A. would be: We can… and we’ve got to… do better than this.”
“This is not good. This is not right. My feet stick out of bed all night. And when I pull them in, oh dear! My head sticks out of bed out here!”
“Open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.”
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
“Today is gone. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.”
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”
“If you’d never been born, then you might be an Isn’t!
An Isn’t has no fun at all. No, he disn’t.”
“The storm starts, when the drops start dropping
When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping.”
“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”
“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.”
“All those Nupboards in the Cupboards they’re good fun to have about. But that Nooth gush on my toothbrush…..Him I could do without.”
“Cause when a guy does something stupid once, well that’s because he’s a guy. But if he does the same stupid thing twice, that’s usually to impress some girl.”
“And I learned that are troubles
Of more than one kind
Some come from ahead
And some come from behind.”
“Young cat! If you keep
Your eyes open enough,
Oh, the stuff you will learn!
The most wonderful stuff!”
“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.”
“Fun is good.”
“My trouble was I had a mind but I couldn’t make it up!”
“Gray day. Everything is gray. I watch. But nothing moves today.”
“Did you ever fly a kite in bed?
Did you ever walk with ten cats on your head?
Did you ever milk this kind of cow?
Well, we can do it. We know how.”
“And that is a story that no one can beat,
When I say that I saw it on Mulberry Street.”
“Whether you color the world or light it up blue, you are making a difference. So keep being you.”
“Don’t give up. I believe in you all.”
“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”
“If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn. Oh, the most wonderful stuff.”
“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
“Things may happen and often do to people as brainy and footsy as you.”
“Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!”
“Reading can take you places you have never been before.”
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”
“You can find magic
wherever you look.
Sit back and relax,
all you need is a book.”
“Be awesome! Be a book nut!”
“Ninety percent of the children’s books patronize the child and say there’s a difference between you and me, so you listen to this story. I, for some reason or another, don’t do that. I treat the child as an equal.”
“You have to be a speedy reader because there’s so so much to read.”
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
“He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”
“That’s why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader’s relief is.”
“Writing simply means no dependent clauses, no dangling things, no flashbacks, and keeping the subject near the predicate. We throw in as many fresh words we can get away with. Simple, short sentences don’t always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive… Virtually every page is a cliffhanger – you’ve got to force them to turn it.”
“It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
“I can read in red.
I can read in blue.
I can read in pickle color too.”
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
“A book is just like life and anything can change.”
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”
“Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
“It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.”
“If you want to catch beasts you don’t see every day,
You have to go places quite out of the way,
You have to go places no others can get to.
You have to get cold and you have to get wet, too.”
“When you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.”
“Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you’ll go!”
“You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…”
“Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be.”
“Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind maker-upper to make up his mind”
“With banner flip-flapping,
one more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!”
“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”
“In my world, everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!”
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
“There’s the yottle in the bottle, whom I do not wish to keep, but the zillow on my pillow always helps me fall asleep.”
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”
“Being crazy isn’t enough.”
“It all began with a shoe on the wall. A shoe on the wall shouldn’t be there at all.”
“I’m happy to be here. I am. I am.
I’m the happiest slave of the Firm, I am.
I love this work. I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job – I’ll say it again – I even love those friendly men.
Those friendly men who’ve come today, in clean white coats to take me away!”
“Happy everyday to me!”
“All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot!”
“The words in this book are all phooey. When you say them, your lips will make slips and backflips and your tongue may end up in Saint Looey!”
“If I were invited to a dinner party with my characters, I wouldn’t show up.”
“I’m afraid that sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against you.”
“Be grateful you’re not in the forest in France
Where the average young person just hasn’t a chance
To escape from the perilous pants eating plants
But your pants are safe, you’re a fortunate guy
You ought to be shouting how lucky am I”
“ASAP. Whatever that means. It must mean, ‘Act swiftly awesome pacyderm!”
“There’s no limit to how much you’ll know, depending how far beyond zebra you go.”
“Teeth are always in style.”
“Thank goodness for all the things you are not, thank goodness you’re not something someone forgot, and left all alone in some punkerish place, like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space.”
“I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or ham or a dirty jar of sour gooseberry jam! I am what I am. That’s a great thing to be.”
“You have to be odd to be number one”
“I saw on this hill, since my eyesight’s so keen, the two biggest fools that have ever been seen! And the fools that I saw were none other than you, who seem to have nothing else better to do than sit here and argue who’s better than who!”
“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”
“My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz. It s the letter I use to spell yuzz a ma tuzz. You ‘ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond Z and start poking around „
“Everything stinks till it’s finished.”
We hope you enjoyed this collection of inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes.
While reading the quotes above, you may have noticed that Theodor Seuss Geisel always seems to find just the right words for a multitude of situations. No matter if you need some courage to keep moving ahead in life or if you simply needed someone to lift you up, Dr. Seuss may have written something insightful that helps you.
Feel free to revisit this selection whenever you are in need of some encouragement.
What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss quote?
Do you have a favorite quote from the beloved author of children’s books? Let us know in the comment section below.