A Reflection on “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” By Dr. Seuss

Like many of us, I was read to as a child. I can still hear my mother’s lilting and precise voice dancing across the pages of countless books – the classic book of Gnomes, McBroom’s Ear, and of course, the sprawling silliness of Dr. Seuss.

And I’ve read hundreds of books to my kids. But one book stands out as so relevant, poignant, and decidedly unsilly that it deserves a moment of reflection.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” By Dr. Seuss.

If you’ve never read it, read it.

If you’ve read it a bazillion times, read it again.

What I remember about the book from my childhood was merely a sliver of its intent. I recalled a message encouraging a young boy to travel and explore the world. Sufficient for a child to glean from a dreamily illustrated children’s book. And more than enough to usher me on my way toward a life of curiosity.

But Oh the Places You’ll Go! is about far more than simply heading off on an adventure. It’s a blueprint for life’s “bumps” and “slumps.” A sobering and supportive guide for times of darkness and difficulty. A poetic warning.

It’s about seeking opportunity, experiencing failure, learning to trust your own decisions, struggling against conformity, combating depression, accepting loneliness, confronting fears, and finding motivation. It is an epic poem and visual metaphor designed to cement the idea that “Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” There will be good. There will be bad. And the one common factor is that it will be up to you to get through it all.

My mother used to say, “The only way out, is through.” I always felt this was one of those hollow parental non-answers to a question that warranted specific instruction. It took me decades to realize that what I felt was her “deal with it” shrug, was encouragement and trust that I could handle whatever I was faced with. I could get through it on my own.

Seuss’ message is not subtle. So I don’t pretend to be solely insightful in my recognition of it. It is, however, uniquely and personally crafted with such care and heart that it sparked a fundamental and wholly universal theme for my life. And I wouldn’t know that until far into adulthood. That’s part of Seuss’ brilliance.

Winding through 44 pages of ups and downs, confusion and clarity, entrapment and escape, success and failure, Seuss’ message circles back toward the positive – that our lives are our own to face, to accept, to deal with, and to excel through. And that the time to realize that is now – TODAY!

So…get on your way!

 

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Squiggly Line Media Introduces Melanie Serpa

MelanieSquiggly Line Media is proud to introduce Melanie Serpa and her first novel, Through the Ganesh Gate!

Melanie’s novel follows Maddy Kendrick on her journey of self-discovery. A failing marriage and a trek through foreign lands ultimately leaves Maddy with nothing left but to face her greatest fears.

Melanie Serpa is an Occupational Therapist, world traveler, and author. Her journeys through Europe, India, Nepal, Southeast Asia, and Australia provided a rich backdrop for storytelling. She has a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and lives near Portland, Oregon.

Find out more about Melaine at www.melanieserpa.com.

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International DOT DAY 2015!

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Yes, it’s here AGAIN! That wonderful day that celebrates CREATIVITY, COURAGE, & COLLABORATION!

Young or old (or anywhere in-between), Squiggly Line Media encourages you to find a way to express your inner DOT at some point today.

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Thanks AGAIN To Bridlemile Elementary!

A very special “Thank You” to Tammy Hansen and her exceptionally creative, inquisitive, and thoughtful second grade class at Bridlemile Elementary in Portland, Oregon! We had a great time reading Dot and Dot Wonders together last Friday (April 24, 2015).

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Everyone gets very excited when they find Nibbles (the super-secret-spy-bunny) hidden in the pages of Dot Wonders. Nibbles2

 

 

And, of course, we found out that Dot likes to…

  • Explore rocket ships!
  • Play soccer!
  • Play baseball!
  • Drive a car! and…
  • Jump rope on stage!

Always loads of fun unleashing the creativity!

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THANK YOU to Periwinkle, Bridlemile, and Vose Elementary Schools!

It’s been a wonderfully busy Spring with several great school visits, reading Dot books with first and second graders. Plus some super fun drawing and coloring!

periwinkle-elemBjorn was invited to read with a large group of students at Periwinkle Elementary for the second year in a row to celebrate Read Across America Day, on Monday March 2nd.

This time, Bjorn read to an assembly of K-2 students. Lots of great questions and observations. Thanks again to the special efforts of Mercedes Strowbridge, Periwinkle’s reading specialist.

 

 

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Next, Bjorn visited several first and second grade classes in March at Bridlemile Elementary, for some reading and a creative exercise that encouraged the children to create their own pictures about what they think Dot like to do. Apparently Dot likes to do KungFu, make new friends, and dance!

Special thanks to Bridlemile’s Tom Finch for his support and coordination of so much fun reading!

And most recently, on April 16th, Bjorn was invited to Vose Elementary to read with 4 first grade classes. Sandy Reimer and the children welcomed Bjorn with this beautiful banner!!!

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So many bright, engaging children with 20150416_084721great questions like, “What is Dot?” and “How does Dot move?”. Loads of fun! And everyone enjoyed finding Nibbles (the super secret spy bunny) hidden throughout Dot Wonders.

 

Next, Bjorn is back at Bridlemile on April 24th to encourage more reading and creative expression!

 

 

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Introducing Nicholas KosGei and “The Lights Above”

TLA-Cover-FrontSquiggly Line Media is happy to announce its newest children’s book, “The Lights Above,” by Nicholas KosGei, illustrated by Bjorn Ansbro.

The Lights Above is about a family that lives high above the earth and below the stars. Each of them has a special job to do to take care of the earth every night and every day. Nicholas wrote The Lights Above based on the stories that his father and grandfathers used to tell him as a child growing up in Kenya.

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The book will be available from all major online book sellers very soon.

Here’s a sneak peek. TLA-Page2-3TLA-Page22-23TLA-Page30-31

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Thank you, Periwinkle Elementary and Bridlemile Elementary!

RAA-Day1Read Across America Day 2014 was a BLAST! We had loads of fun reading and drawing with First Graders all morning. What a wonderfully creative group of kids!

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Thank you again to Mercedes Strowbridge at Periwinkle Elementary in Albany OR and Margo Harms at Bridlemile Elementary in Portland OR for organizing.

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RAA-Day3Keep those kids reading!

Cheers,

Bjorn

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