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Babies born March 2 can get a free book for Dr. Seuss Day: Here's how to claim one

In honor of Dr. Seuss Day, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will give away a free, personalized copy of the book "The Cat in the Hat" to every baby born in the U.S. on March 2, 2024.
In honor of Dr. Seuss Day, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will give away a free, personalized copy of the book "The Cat in the Hat" to every baby born in the U.S. on March 2, 2024.

Babies born on Saturday can get a free book thanks to Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced in February that it is honoring the author's legacy by giving away a free, personalized copy of "The Cat in the Hat" to every baby born in the U.S. on this year's Dr. Seuss Day.

The holiday is celebrated annually on March 2 to honor the late Theodor "Ted" Seuss Geisel, who was born on the day in 1904. Saturday will mark what would have been Geisel's 120th birthday.

The beloved children's book author wrote classics still present in classrooms and homes across America, including the classic "Cat in the Hat" (1957), "Green Eggs and Ham" (1960) and "Oh the Places You'll Go!" (1990).

Dr. Seuss Day coincides with Read Across America Day, established by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998. Both celebrations are an effort to make reading more exciting for families and for kids.

Here's what to know about the free book giveaway.

How to claim your free book

Parents with children born on March 2, 2024, can visit SeussPledge.com to register and claim their baby’s free book.

According to rules posted on the website, parents or legal guardians have 90 days to claim their child's free book on a first-come first-serve basis with a cap of 10,000 books. Registrants must provide photographic proof of the child's birthdate to receive one free book per child per person/household.

Inside the book, parents will find a personalized message that "commemorates the child’s Seussian birthday," Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a release, and that "encourages parents to read to their child every day."

In honor of Dr. Seuss Day, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will give away a free, personalized copy of the book "The Cat in the Hat" to every baby born in the U.S. on March 2, 2024.
In honor of Dr. Seuss Day, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will give away a free, personalized copy of the book "The Cat in the Hat" to every baby born in the U.S. on March 2, 2024.

“Helping ensure all children have easy access to books and literacy programs has always been one of Dr. Seuss’s core missions," Susan Brandt, CEO & President of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said in the release. "This pledge is an opportunity for us to honor this storied legacy and call attention to this noble cause."

On top of the free book, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has made free resources available for teachers and parents as they are celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday. The resources can be found at Seussville.com.

'The Cat in the Hat': 'Somewhere in between offensive and inoffensive'

'Cat and the Hat,' Dr. Seuss books controversy

The expansive and long-beloved collection of Dr. Seuss books has taken a cultural hit in recent years on racial insensitivity grounds, with six titles pulled by the Seuss gatekeepers in 2021, USA TODAY previously reported. The books pulled were:

  • "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" (1937)

  • "McElligot's Pool" (1947)

  • "If I Ran the Zoo" (1950)

  • "Scrambled Eggs Super!" (1953)

  • "On Beyond Zebra!" (1955)

  • "The Cat's Quizzer" (1976)

Theodor 'Ted' Seuss Geisel before his death in 1991.
Theodor 'Ted' Seuss Geisel before his death in 1991.

As for "The Cat in the Hat," "the cat is somewhere in between offensive and inoffensive,” Philip Nel, Kansas State University professor of English and author of “Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature and the Need for Diverse Books,” previously told USA TODAY.

Nel said that telling aspects of the cat clearly are derived from racist blackface performers popular a century ago – performers, who, like the cat, often wore white gloves and neckwear.

But Geisel also went out of his way during his long career to write stories that celebrated diversity.

Never-before-seen sketches by Dr. Seuss have been added to new books written and illustrated by an inclusive group of authors and artists, the AP reported.

The new line includes original stories matched with unpublished illustrations selected from archives at the University of California San Diego, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement.

The new line of Dr. Seuss books is expected to hit shelves this spring, according to a release by Penguin Random House.

Contributing: Marco della Cava, USA TODAY; Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dr. Seuss Day: Babies born on March 2, 2024 can get a free book