There's something about the pot-bellied characters in Dr. Seuss' classic books such as 'Green Eggs and Ham' and 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' that make me laugh.
They're funny, have a great vocabulary and seem larger than life. While their existence is mere color and scribbles on the pages of children's books, their legacy is so much larger.
These characters are interesting, and kids want to read about their adventures.
Reading is fun. Reading is learning new words. Reading is visiting silly friends.
The author of these books, Theodore Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, lit a spark within children worldwide to take an interest in reading. Decades later, that small flame has grown to include a day to celebrate his birthday and the joy of reading.
And the children at Stafford Primary School in West Linn were glowing with approval on Monday as they celebrated Read Across America.
Staff members wearing the ever-appropriate white and red striped top hat greeted readers from the community when they arrived to participate in the motivational reading event.
Men in uniform, grandparents, business professionals and journalists - and me! - made our way into classrooms, armed with books to read aloud to the classroom.
I read 'Come On, Baby Duck!' by Nick Ward - a tale about a duckling afraid to swim for the first time.
The kids in Ms. Wise's first grade class loved it. They could hardly sit still as I turned the large glossy pages.
The book was a hit and I brought in a copy of the West Linn Tidings to demonstrate to the students the importance of reading in my job.
'It would be very hard to put together a newspaper each week if I couldn't read,' I told them, as we sat in the reading area of the library.
'Reading helps you get a job someday,' one boy said.
'A really good job,' his buddy interrupted.
This is the second year I have read to students at Stafford for Read Across America. It's too bad it's once a year. I'd be there each week if I could. I love kids - and reading.
Different voices and characters come out of me. It's OK to be silly if it's for educational purposes, right?
As Dr. Seuss said, 'you're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.'
It's true, there is something special about those goofy cat characters he sketched decades ago. Maybe I'll read 'Oh, the Places You'll Go' when I get home. I got that colorful book as a high school graduation present.
And it's still a good read.
Nicole DeCosta is a reporter with the West Linn Tidings and is the editor of the Homes section.