Portland joined cities and towns across the nation Tuesday to celebrate Read Across America Day, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls on children and the young at heart everywhere to honor the birthday of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, who was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Mass.

In Washington, first lady Michelle Obama celebrated by reading “The Cat in the Hat” to a group of children wearing red-and-white-striped stovepipe hats like the one worn by the book’s main character.

“Do you know the president of the United States reads all the time,” Mrs. Obama told a group of more than 200 students from elementary schools in Washington and Arlington, Va. “Our girls at home read every single night,” she said, adding that Sasha and Malia are allowed to stay up 30 minutes later if they are reading.