As part of "Read Across America," the University Village Bookstore will celebrate the 116th birthday of the creator of Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, with its annual "Cat in the Hat" event from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 29.

Geisel, born March 2, 1904, was a beloved author whose colorful classics inspired many generations. His popular children's books sold more than 600 million copies and were translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death in 1991. He published his first children's book, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," under the name of Dr. Seuss in 1937. Next came a string of bestsellers, including "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham."

"Read Across America" is a national children's literacy initiative. Face painting, arts, crafts, free hats, free balloons and children's readings by Child Study Center faculty will take place, and there will be a special appearance by the Cat in the Hat himself. New ODU football coach Ricky Rahne will serve as one of the readers.

Marc Katz, Bookstore general books manager, calls it "our biggest event of the year."

Free parking is available across the street in the 45th Street garage. For more information, call the Village Bookstore at 757-423-2308.

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