Friday, March 1, 2013

Dr. Seuss: Day 4

First up: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. This is one of Dr. Seuss's first stories and isn't told in rhyme at all. I probably wouldn't be familiar with it if it wasn't in the Six by Seuss collection. Bartholomew Cubbins has one plain hat which was passed down from his grandfather and he likes it. He is the son of a poor cranberry farmer and takes off on a Saturday morning to sell his cranberries in town. He lives in the Kingdom of Didd which is ruled by King Derwin. While he's in town, the King comes through and the people need to make way for him to pass by. The King passes him, then backs up and demands Bartholomew to take his hat off. Bartholomew is confused because he did take his hat off. He's surprised to feel another hat on his head so he takes it off and yet another hat pops up on his head. The King gets mad as Bartholomew keeps taking off hats and a new one keeps popping up on his head. 

He has him taken to the palace. The Keeper of the Records, Sir Alaric, starts keeping track of how many hats come off. The King calls for the hat maker and he can't figure out what's going on. Then he calls for the Wise Men, his nephew, Yeoman of the Bowmen and his magicians and none of them can figure it out, either. He tells Bartholomew to go to the executioner but the executioner can't chop off his head while he's wearing a hat so he goes back to the King. By now, he's up to 346 hats. The King's nephew says he'll take him up to the turret and push him off. Sir Alaric follows behind to keep counting the hats and when he gets to number 451, the hat changes and each hat from then on becomes fancier than the one before. When Bartholomew gets to the roof, he has the most beautiful hat the King has ever seen and the King wants to buy it. Since it's hat number 500, he offers Bartholomew 500 pieces of gold and Bartholomew agrees. When he takes this hat off, his head is bare! Bartholomew goes home with a bag full of gold and a bare head. 

This is a cute story which kept our attention to see what would happen next. I laughed at how much one little thing bothered the King and once he got started on getting rid of the hat, it multiplied and he had to keep going with it until it was taken care of, even if some of his remedies seemed ridiculous.

My Rating: 4 stars

Next up, Fox in Socks. I don't have much to say about this one. This is basically one long tongue twister. My kids loved to listen to this when they were young and it was fun to hear my son read it. He realized how easy mom made it sound. ;-)

My Rating: 4 stars


Our third choice today was Horton Hears a Who! Horton, the elephant, is splashing in the pool, when he hears a small sound. All he can see is a small speck of dust blowing by. He realizes there's someone on the speck and decides to save him. "Because, after all, A person's a person, no matter how small." A kangaroo comes by and tells him how crazy he is for believing anyone lives on the speck of dust and word quickly spreads through the jungle that Horton is crazy. Horton then starts talking to the Mayor of Who-ville and is amazed that so many people live there and becomes more determined to protect them. The jungle monkeys take the clover from Horton and give it to an eagle who flies all night until he drops it into a huge clover patch. Horton looks through 3,000,000 clovers until he finds the right one and when the other jungle creatures come to take it away from him again, he tells the Mayor that they need to make enough noise that everyone else can hear them, too. 

The people of Who-ville make as much noise as they can but it's not enough. Horton tells him to make sure everyone is doing their part and the Mayor runs from house to house where he finds a young shirker named Jo-Jo who's bouncing a Yo-Yo. He grabs him and his one sound puts them over the top so the jungle creatures can hear that Who-ville does exist. The kangaroo declares that he will now help Horton protect it and Who-ville is saved!

This is another book that we enjoy and it has Dr. Seuss's most famous line: "A person's a person, no matter how small." We were able to discuss how important everyone is and how one person can make a difference. It also shows dedication and passion because Horton could have easily given up but stuck with his promise to protect Who-ville, no matter how difficult it seemed, like searching through 3,000,000 clovers to find them (what would have happened if he had quit at 2,999,999?). 

My Rating: 4 stars


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