Melania Trump celebrated Read Across America Day by reading to children and their families at the pediatric wing of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, and some people seem to think one of the little girls was visibly unhappy about it.
She chose a book by Dr. Seuss for the occasion, reports the Daily Star. It was a fitting choice, as it was also the anniversary of the author's birthday.
"So you know what is today?" she asked her audience, reports The New York Times. "It’s a reading day. So I came to encourage you to read, and to think about what you want to achieve in life."
The first lady then proceeded to read the Dr. Seuss classic "Oh, the Places You’ll Go!," which she proclaimed to be a favorite of hers.
Then she launched into the text, reading the lines: "You’ll be as famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV." After finishing the book she gave it to a young girl seated nearby, and told her, "I encourage you all to read a lot -- to get educated."
Mrs. Trump later posted about the event on Twitter, but some of the reactions were probably not what she expected.
One person was critical of how she read the book. "Someone tell Melania Trump you're supposed to hold the book up so the kids can see the illustrations," the person wrote.
Another drew attention to one of the children who was seated immediately to her right: "I can’t tell if the girl at the beginning of the video looks depressed because she's in hospital or because Melania Trump is reading to her."
Or perhaps, the girl just doesn't like Dr. Seuss. Born Theodor Geisel, he adopted his now-famous pen name in 1928, according to the website Seussville.
He started out as an advertising illustrator, and did not publish his first children's book, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," until 1937. During World War II, he took a break from writing books to focus on political cartooning.
"While Paris was being occupied by the klanking tanks of the Nazis and I was listening on my radio, I found I could no longer keep my mind on drawing pictures of Horton the Elephant. I found myself drawing pictures of Lindbergh the Ostrich," he said.
As Seussville explains, "Seuss is referring to Charles Lindbergh, the world-renowned American pilot and prominent isolationist. Lindbergh and other members of the America First Committee thought that the U.S. should stay out of the wars in Europe and the Pacific."
Between 1941 and 1943, Dr. Seuss published over 400 political cartoons the New York newspaper PM, a new and innovative liberal tabloid. "His cartoons make fun of isolationists," notes Seussville. "They mock the leaders of the Axis powers -- Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo. They oppose fascism. They criticize discrimination against Jews and against African Americans, at a time when such discrimination was both legal and common."
Ted Geisel's political sensibility was formed at an early age. As a child, he faced discrimination based on his national heritage, and during World War I he was taunted and teased for being a German-American.