LIVERMORE FALLS — History repeated itself Wednesday when Elaine “Lady Elaine” Wilcox read Dr. Seuss books to prekindergarten students at the Cedar Street Learning Center.
“Lady Elaine” had read to their teacher, Kayla Brown, 22, when she was growing up in Fayette.
Wilcox sat in a rocking chair in Brown's RSU 73 classroom and read the “Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” The children sat on the rug in front of her as she read the books, sometimes illustrating with props of stuffed Dr. Seuss characters and pencil toppers.
She wore a tall red and white striped hat resembling the hat that is pictured in the “Cat in the Hat” and a red bow tie to accent her black clothing.
The kindergartners wore hats they made out of construction paper and held up the whiskers they made out of pipe cleaners, a mini pompom and a Popsicle stick.
Wilcox always celebrates Dr. Seuss' birthday and Brown's class was also celebrating it in conjunction with Read Across America Week.
Author Theodor Seuss Geisel was born March 2, 1904, and died on Sept. 21, 1991. He wrote dozens of books for children.
Every year while Brown was attending Fayette Central School, “Lady Elaine” would come in to read, Brown said.
She held Dr. Seuss birthday celebrations.
“I went to every one of those,” Brown said.
Brown graduated from Maranacook Community High School in 2008 and the University of Maine at Farmington in 2012. She is in her second year of teaching the prekindergarten program.
Wilcox, the librarian at Underwood Memorial Library in Fayette, started reading Dr. Seuss books to children in 1999 and created a Dr. Seuss Day in 2002 that continues today.
While Wilcox read the words, students spoke the end rhyming words.
“They listened very well,” Wilcox told Brown. “They knew everything that rhymed.”
Wilcox told the children that she has every Dr. Seuss book that was written for children. That's more than 65, she said.
Her favorite character, if she had to pick, is Horton from "Horton Hears a Who," she told the children, because he is kind and good.
While Wilcox and Brown set up a craft activity for a bag puppet for students to make, Wilcox said she reads to children for the enjoyment of it.
“Just the smile on their face and teaching them to love to read,” she said, keeps her going.