Ricky Garcia, 6, spun his little body in circles Wednesday afternoon as Vice Principal Jessica Daniels, with a tall red-and-white striped hat perched upon her head, sang out loud.
Wednesday was the birthday of Theodor Geisel, or Dr. Seuss, a birthday the vice principal celebrates every year with Mark Twain Elementary School students.
"It's just so much fun," she said after a long day of celebrations of cake and Dr. Seuss stories came to an end.
The birthday celebration is part of the National Education Association's Read Across America, which uses the birth date of the popular children's author to promote reading.
That was already being done in the lunchroom at Mark Twain. At the front of the room on a red bench were several of Seuss's books, including "Green Eggs and Ham," "The Cat in the Hat," and "The Foot Book."
"I love to word play and I love the fact that he was a word player," Daniels said.
Blow-ups of Thing 1 and Thing 2, characters from "The Cat in the Hat," stood at either side of the stage. Red-and-white balloons floated at each of the tables, covered with red tablecloths. Several pictures of the Cat floated around.
"It's a chance to show a different side and relate to the kids and be wild, weird and wacky," Daniels said. "I like that."
Ricky liked it too. He had cleaned his plate of Dr. Seuss birthday cake and said his favorite Dr. Seuss book was "Wings on Things."
That book was written by children's author Marc Brown, but Ricky had the association between rhyming words and Seuss right. The 6-year-old admitted being a little bit of a fan of the Doctor's.
"I saw the movie (Cat in the Hat) with him," he said. "He is really funny."
Classmate Alex Sanchez, 7, sat across from Ricky. His favorite Seuss book, "Green Eggs and Ham," makes him laugh.
"I like Dr. Seuss," he said. "His books are funny."
Each grade level, pre-kindergarten through fifth, had separate birthday celebrations throughout the day in the lunchroom.
"They have been waiting with anticipation all day for the birthday party," said first-grade teacher Christi Schmid. "Dr. Seuss is probably one of their favorite authors."
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at email@example.com or 881-1219.