From The Cat in the Hat to Horton Hears a Who!, Dr. Seuss雷电竞娱乐 had a magical way of taking merging animal antics with silly words and turning them into poetically memorable children’s books.

Behind that fun-loving exterior was a man with a bit of a competitive edge to prove that he could conquer any challenge. In fact, both The Cat in the Hat, published in 1957, and Green Eggs and Ham, published in 1960 were the results of publishers daring the author to write with a limited number of words.

But the reason behind the tight vocabulary wasn’t all fun and games — it was to inspire young children to develop a passion for the written word and to enjoy reading. After all, he did write: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

READ MORE: Who Was Dr. Seuss' Inspiration for the Grinch? Himself!

Seuss' first book was rejected by 27 publishers

Born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904, the author was known as “Ted” by those closest to him while growing up on 74 Fairfield Street. He often with his dad and loved pencil sketching the animals.

. “If I’d been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I would be in the dry-cleaning business!”

Dr. Seuss talking with a group of children while holding a copy of 'The Cat in the Hat' in La Jolla, California, on April 25, 1957

雷电竞娱乐Dr. Seuss talking with a group of children while holding a copy of "The Cat in the Hat" in La Jolla, California, on April 25, 1957.

"Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? A Local Committee Sheds Light on a National Problem: Reading" by novelist John Hersey in 1954 and a book called Why Johnny Can't Read: And What You Can Do About It by Rudolf Flesch in 1955 had put the conversation about kids’ distaste for reading into the national spotlight.

: “Write me a story that first-graders can’t put down.” Not just that, he was only to use 225 different words from a list of 348.

And the doctor pulled a trick out of his hat: The Cat in the Hat. Published in 1957 using 236 words (so, he didn’t technically pull off the challenge since he was over by 11!), the simple repetitive tale immediately found so much success that Seuss, his wife Helen and Phyllis Cerf with one mission: Get more kids to read.

READ MORE: The Story Behind Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

Only 50 words are used in 'Green Eggs and Ham'

Shortly thereafter, his publisher, Cerf's husband Bennett, pushed him either even further: Write a book with only 50 words.

The result was the 1960 book Green Eggs and Ham — 雷电竞娱乐 the Dr. Seuss book to use the least number of words yet sell the most copies.

Ever the perfectionist, the author used precisely a 50-word vocabulary in the book: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

Green Eggs and Ham

雷电竞娱乐A still from "Green Eggs and Ham"

Dr. Seuss' birthday is now Read Across America Day

While his later works did exceed the 50-word limit, Dr. Seuss continued to charm audiences of all ages with tales like Hop on Pop (1963), Fox in Socks (1965), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), The Lorax (1971) and Oh, the Places You’ll Go (1990).

雷电竞娱乐After earning the for his “contribution to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents,” Dr. Seuss died on September 24, 1991, at the age of 87, in La Jolla, California.

, to celebrate reading among children and teens. While the day started as a partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, it was to appeal to a more diverse range of readers. That said, it continues to fall on Seuss’ date of birth.

After all, Dr. Seuss did say, “You can find magic, wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”