Although he began his work as a cartoonist, Theodor Geisel was able to expand his illustrations into the realm of children’s novels; he incorporated his iconic images with stories that contained underlying messages that would help the children grow as individuals. The first book he tried to publish, And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by many publishers due to it being too different from other stories of that time period. Also, many said that the fantasy world Geisel was trying to portray was not saleable to the general public (Tripod). Geisel was eventually able to publish the book through an old friend from Dartmouth who worked at Vanguard Press, a publishing company that was a division of Houghton Mifflin. It was after this book was published that Geisel became a respected name within the publishing industry (Cohen).
     Geisel was able to change the standards of children’s books by cleverly weaving in lessons that not only pertained to life in general, but also the problems that America was facing at the time. His books make reading a fun learning experience because their creative rhymes and vivid illustrations leave an imprint within children’s minds, therefore broadening the horizons of their imaginations.
     Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was written in 1990, a year before Geisel’s death (Morgan). Although the main character in this story faces many challenges throughout his journey, he never gives up and keeps on progressing forward in life (Seuss). Geisel is trying to elicit a motivational response from his audience, providing them with the hope of a better future. With America emerging victorious in the Cold War, a new sense of optimism was extremely evident in the country, which Geisel portrayed within his work.

     Geisel wrote The Butter Battle Book in 1984, during the time in which the United States was still engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. With America being in the war for more than thirty years already, Geisel saw first hand how things that seem so insignificant can upscale into feuds lasting for decades. Within the book, Geisel depicts two races of beings, the Zooks and the Yooks, representative of the United States and the Soviet Union, respectively. Tension first arises when we find that the Yooks have their toast butter-side up, while the Zooks have theirs butter-side down. This eventually escalates into a race to see which side could build the best weapon, concluding in a showdown between the two “super weapons” of both sides (Seuss). Through reading this book, one will find that it is a direct representation of the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Through his illustrations, Geisel is able to convey a warning to future generations, cautioning them not to allow minor conflicts escalate into major ones.
     Written in 1961, Geisel used The Sneetches and Other Stories as a medium to portray the social injustices that were widely apparent in America at the time. With the Civil Rights movement gaining momentum, he felt it necessary to aid in the fight against prejudice; he lent his unique images and creative writing style to spread the values of racial equality to all ages, for he knew that the youth would be a key factor in keeping the movement alive. Within the book, there are two types of Sneetches— the Star-Belly Sneetches and the Plain-Belly Sneetches. Although the Star-Belly Sneetches do not represent a particular group of people, they symbolize those who use insignificant things, such as a star on their belly, to characterize themselves as superior to others (Seuss). In the end, Geisel provides a realization that, although there may be differences amongst individuals, they are still the same type of being, thus making them all equal; no specific type of group, whether it be characterized by race or gender, is better than the other.

     With Horton Hatches the Egg being published in 1940, Geisel incorporates much of his personal beliefs into the moral of the story. It centers on an elephant named Horton who is given the responsibility to nest an egg while his friend takes a break (Seuss). This teaches the values and rewards of responsibility, showing how hard work pays off in the end. When the story was published, Europe was engulfed in World War II, and America was still clinging to its policy of isolationism (Minear). Geisel believed that the United States should take the responsibility of aiding the Allies, for he knew that their victory would be crucial in solidifying the safety of the American people.