Theodor Seuss Geisel's first children's book, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street", was published under the pen name Dr. Seuss. The story follows a youngster named Marco who, in an elaborate fantasy story he makes up to tell his father at the end of his stroll, depicts a procession of imagined people and cars going along a road called Mulberry Street. When he returns home, though, he informs his father of what he truly saw—a simple horse and wagon.
Dr. Seuss came up with the idea of the book while on a ship returning from a European trip with his wife in 1936. The ship's engines attracted him, and he was inspired to write the book's signature.
A boy named Marco, who is walking home from school, thinks of his father's advice:
Marco, keep your eyelids up
And see what you can see.
However, the only thing Marco has seen on his walk is a horse pulling a wagon on Mulberry Street. To make his story more interesting to tell his father, Marco imagined an elaborate scene. He imagines the horse is first a zebra, then a reindeer, then an elephant, and finally, an elephant helped by two giraffes. The wagon changed to a chariot, then a sled, and then a cart holding a brass band.
However, when his father questioned him about what he saw on his way back to home, he decided to stay with the facts and said, "Nothing ... but a plain horse and wagon on Mulberry Street."
This story guides younger children to stick with the truth and not with the fantasies they may have imagined or inclined to tell.