IT’S A MAYORAL THING

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By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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He may be the town’s top dog, but to the dozen or so kids who showed up Saturday to (belatedly) celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday at the Red Bank Public Library, Mayor Pasquale Menna was just a thing.

Thing 1, to be exact.

Decked out in tomato-red shirts, Menna and children’s librarian Samantha Quintas portrayed the menacing characters Thing 1 and Thing 2, respectively, from the famed Seuss work, “The Cat In The Hat.”

Menna might as easily have portrayed  the Chief-In-Charge-Of-Fish, the Mayor of Who-Ville or (ahem) the Drum-Tummied Snumm. Put a tall topper on him, and he might also have been Pat in the Hat.

But, “I’m a thing, I guess,” Menna said to the children.

They seemed to like him that way.  After he schooled the kids on a little Seuss history — telling them the author’s real name was Theodor, for example — they huddled around Menna’s chair and listened to him read “The Cat In The Hat.”

When the book was done, Menna high-fived Quintas and retreated so the day’s three other readers could take their turns in the hot seat in front of the children.

The day, dubbed at the library as a “Seussical” storytime for author Theodor Seuss Geisel‘s March 2 birthday, was also tied into national Read Across America month.

Quintas said such events — celebrating a man who once wrote, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” — are the kind that people in her field live for.

“Librarians love Dr. Seuss, parents love Dr. Seuss, kids love Dr. Seuss,” she said. “Kids, they hear the mayor’s coming and they think it’s a big deal. And it is a big deal.”

So did Menna have fun as Thing 1?

“Oh, absolutely,” he said. “These kids are the future. I never got to do this when I was a kid.”