Thursday, September 24, 2009


By Steve Lambert, Publisher of Five in a Row

Today marks the 18th anniversary of the death of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Author of 46 children’s books, Geisel’s books have sold well over a quarter of a billion copies! Think of that- a quarter of a BILLION!

From foxes who wore socks to cats who wore hats, from wockets to whos, from red fish to blue fish, hardly anyone alive today isn’t familiar with at least a few of Geisel’s remarkably creative stories.

And do you know WHY the world knows Theodor Geisel’s works? Because Geisel refused to take “no” for an answer.

You see, Dr. Seuss was turned down by TWENTY-EIGHT different publishers before he walked into Random House. That’s right- TWENTY-EIGHT different publishers looked at Geisel’s manuscript of And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street and concluded nobody would ever want to read such a wacky, zany book.

Rejected TWENTY-EIGHT times in a row, Geisel persevered. He believed in what he was doing. He believed that children and adults alike would delight at the words he had put on paper. And he was right.

Random House publisher Bennett Cerf once said, “I’ve published any number of great writers, from William Faulkner to John O’Hara, but there’s only one genius on my authors list. His name is Ted Geisel.”

Have you been discouraged on your homeschool journey? Have you ever wondered if maybe this whole thing is a crazy idea? Have others told you this isn’t going to work? Two people? Five people? Twenty-eight people perhaps? Are you going to give up and quit? Or are you going to have another go at it tomorrow- like Theodor Seuss Geisel?

I would have given up after the first ten rejections I think. Certainly after twenty publisher’s rejections I would have concluded that I was never meant to be a writer. But not Geisel. He could see beyond today’s disappointments. But even Dr. Seuss never dreamed that his books would be in the hands of a QUARTER OF A BILLION readers someday.

We can never see the end when we’re in the middle. We have NO IDEA what the Lord wants to do with our lives or the lives of our children if we’ll just persist. Paul said in Ephesians 6:13 “… having done everything, stand.”

When it seems as if you’ve done everything in your power and it’s still not enough… stand. Don’t walk away. Don’t sit down. Don’t give up. Stand. Stand and watch what the Lord will do.

Gather your children today and read a Dr. Seuss book togther- and remember the extraordinary man who refused to take “no” for answer.

For more of Steve's reflections on life, faith, and homeschooling, go to his blog:

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