Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
Play some songs from Bonnie Raitt ...
Answer a question about Father's Day ...
And report about a new memorial to a famous writer of children'sbooks.
Doctor Seuss Memorial
The writer Theodor Seuss Geisel has been honored with a newmemorial in Springfield, Massachusetts. Geisel was better known asDoctor Seuss. He became famous because of the books he wrote forchildren. Mary Tillotson has more.
Theodor Geisel was born in Springfield in nineteen-oh-four. Hespent his early years there, before attending college. Geisel hopedto become a writer of serious literature. However, in thenineteen-thirties the American economy entered a period known as theGreat Depression. This forced him to delay his dreams of becoming aserious writer. Instead, he found work as a creator of advertisingcampaigns designed to sell products. He also drew pictures forpopular magazines.
Geisel began to write books forchildren in nineteen-thirty-seven. He called himself Doctor Seuss.His first book is called "And To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street."A number of publishers rejected it. They said it was too different.A friend finally published it.
Geisel wrote more than forty books for children. Doctor Seussbooks are fun to read. Yet they deal with serious subjects includingequality, responsibility and protecting the environment. The bookscontain pictures of funny creatures and plants. Geisel was nottrained in art. Yet he drew the pictures for most of his books.
Doctor Seuss books are popular with young readers and theirparents. Children enjoy the invented words. They also like to lookat the pictures of unusual creatures such as the Cat in the Hat andSam-I-Am.
The new Doctor Seuss NationalMemorial opened earlier this month, eleven years after TheodorGeisel died. The opening celebrations included public readings ofhis books and a parade down Springfield's own Mulberry Street.
The memorial park has several metal statues of Doctor Seusscreations. There is even one of the writer himself. It shows himbusy at work, with the Cat in the Hat at his side.
Children can climb on the statues. For example, visitors canexplore a statue of Horton the Elephant that is almost five meterstall. Horton and other creatures appear to be spilling out of anopen book. There also is a large chair and a book that is more thanthree meters tall. The book has all the words of Doctor Seuss's lastbook, "Oh, The Places You'll Go."
Our VOA listener question this week comes from China. Fei Zhangasks about Father's Day in America.
The idea for Father's Day startedin nineteen-oh-nine. A woman named Sonora Dodd was living in thenorthwestern state of Washington. She thought about starting aFather's Day holiday while listening to a Mother's Day speech atchurch.
Misses Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, WilliamSmart. He had fought in the American Civil War. Later, his wife diedwhile giving birth to their sixth child. Mister Smart raised thebaby and his other five children on a farm in Washington state.
When Sonora Dodd became an adult, she recognized how kind andloving her father had been while raising his six children alone. Shebelieved her father had worked very hard to make sure his childrengrew up healthy and strong. Sonora's father was born in June. So shechose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane,Washington on June nineteenth, nineteen-ten.
In nineteen-twenty-four, President Calvin Coolidge gave hissupport to the idea of a national Father's Day. Then, innineteen-sixty-six, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidentialstatement declaring the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.
In early times, wearing flowers was a traditional way tocelebrate Father's Day. People wore red roses to honor fathers whowere still living. White flowers were worn to honor fathers who haddied.
Today, Americans celebrate Father's Day in many different ways.Some families take their fathers out to a restaurant for a meal.Others give their fathers gifts or cards with special messages ofthanks. Children living far away call their fathers on the telephoneto wish them a happy Father's Day.
However the holiday is celebrated, the idea is for children tolet their father know that he is valued and loved. As one historianin America has said, "Lucky is the man who hears many small voicescall him father."
Bonnie Raitt has released a new album called "Silver Lining." Itis her sixteenth record album since nineteen-seventy-one.
Mizz Raitt says making the album was a good experience. She saysshe worked on the quality of her music, instead of being worriedabout earning money or becoming more famous. Now, thefifty-two-year-old musician feels she has reached the best part ofher life. Shep O'Neal tells us more.
Bonnie Raitt says she loves to make records so that she cantravel and perform in public. Her age has not slowed her down. MizzRaitt believes she is more creative and has more energy today thanwhen she was younger. Bonnie Raitt says one song on her new albumbest describes where she is in her life. That song is "Time of OurLives."
((CUT 1: TIME OF OUR LIVES))
Bonnie Raitt is known for mixing country and blues music withrock and roll and folk music. However, this album also has aninternational sound. Her trips to Africa and Cuba helped influencesome of the music.
Habib Koite (ha-BEEB ko-EE-tay) from Mali helped write the song"Back Around." Traditional blues music from America mixes withAfrican beats to create a new sound for Bonnie Raitt.
((CUT 2: BACK AROUND))
"Silver Lining" also includes music written by new and mostlyunknown songwriters. For example, British musician David Gray wrotethe title song on the album. Bonnie Raitt says she spent the lastfew years searching the world for excellent new songwriters. Weleave you with the title song from her latest album, "SilverLining."
((CUT 3: SILVER LINING))
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And Ihope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC-VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by George Grow and JillMoss. Our studio engineer was Tom O'Brien. And our producer was PaulThompson.