“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr Seuss
About Author: Dr Seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote many books under the pen name of ‘Dr Seuss’, was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He is undoubtedly one of the best children’s authors. Most of his books are written in poetic form, with rhyming sentences. Over 600 million copies of his books have been sold and they have been translated into over 20 languages.
The Book: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
6 – 8 years
About the Book
This is one of the first few books that Dr Seuss wrote. It is different from his other books because it is written in prose and not rhymes. It is also not driven by any moral, but only by the desire to entertain young minds. It is also longer than most Dr Seuss books and not suitable for self-reading for the readers who have just started to read themselves (unlike many Dr Seuss books).
The story is about a small poor boy. One day, when he goes to town to sell cranberries, the procession of King Derwin, the king of the Kingdom of Didd, comes along. It was the custom for everyone to take off their hats as a show of respect to the king. The king stops the procession when he sees Bartholomew still wearing his hat. As much as he tries, Bartholomew cannot remove his hat – as soon as he removes one, another magically appears on his head. The king calls upon many wise men in his kingdom to remove the boy’s hat, but to no avail. He gets so angry that he decides to cut off Bartholomew’s head. In the end, the hats start becoming fancier and fancier and stop re-appearing after the 500th hat. The last hat is so beautiful that the King gives poor Bartholomew 500 coins in exchange for the hat.
The illustrations are all in black and white, except the hat, which is red in all the pictures. The red colored hat in every illustration clearly points out the importance of the hat in the story.
Below is a link to amazon if you want to purchase the book.
It is full of wit and humor and is thoroughly entertaining, even though its not the typical Dr Seuss book.
Given that the King tries to get Bartholomew killed for no apparent fault of the poor boy, it might upset very young children.
It is written in a simple, yet very humorous tone and is pure entertainment for children. I have seen boys and girls laughing out loud as they turn the pages of the book. It is different from other Dr Seuss books and well worth a read.
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