Friday 21 May 2021

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins - Dr. Seuss - Bartholomew Cubbins Book 01

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
Bartholomew Cubbins Book 1
Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780008313913
eISBN 9780385373494

Recently because of some media spotlight on Dr. Seuss and his works. I decided to reread the 6 books in question and now several others. But alas only had 5 of the 6 on hand. This is a continuation in an attempt to review all of the books by Dr. Seuss. 

Dr. Seuss is famous for his many children’s books. Books that spark the imagination. Surprise, and amaze. There is a large collection of old animated shorts based on them. And these has been several movies both animated and life action. He also wrote two books that though written and illustrated in a similar style and format are considered adult books they are The Seven Lady Godivas and You’re Only Old Once. Godivas I believe is long out of print, I believe the last printing was in 1988. And I am only aware of it because it is the favorite book of a friend.  

I do not know a child who has not engaged with these books on some level. My youngest and my wife have a few of them memorized. And recite them to each other before bed, as much as read. My children loved the old, animated shorts, and like most of the movies. I was less fond of the live action movies but appreciate most of the animated ones. But back to this book.

In 1931 and 1932 Dr. Seuss published four small volumes about the Boners. Which were compiled into a single volume called The Pocket Book of Boners. After that he published And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street. And this was his third published volume. And one of a few written in prose rather than verse. It was turned into a short film in 1943 and nominated for an Oscar. 

Of the many Seuss books we have read this one is geared towards the top end of the reading levels. There are more words on a few pages on this volume than some entire other books by Seuss.

This story takes place in the Kingdom of Didd and involves primarily Bartholomew Cubbins and King Derwin. The king is upset because he believes Bartholomew is being obstinate and not removing his hat. Bartholomew is distraught but overall very stoic about his predicament. For every time he removes a hat a new one appears. The king’s nephew, a grand duke is a bit of a pest. The executioner is very nice. The story takes an unusual turn climbing a great spiral staircase to the highest parapet. But to find out what happens you will need to read the book. Two quotes from the book really caught me as I read it this time:

"Very serious nonsense."

"He knows about everything in all my kingdom, in all the world beyond, and in all the worlds that may happen to be."

I recall this being one of my son’s favorites. And it is a fun read. 

Dr. Seuss actively published books between 1931 and 1990. He passed away in 1995 and there have been nearly 20 published posthumously. And another 18 that he authored under other names and that others illustrated. Not counting the many collections, compilations, and repackaging done by the publishers and literary estate over the years. In total there are nearly 100 works written, illustrated, or both by Dr. Seuss. They have been translated into many languages and they are loved around the world, by the young and young at heart. And this is an excellent offering. 

Note: I recently heard that 6 of the books by Dr. Seuss were being taken out of print. The 6 are: And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, The Cat's Quizzer. We had 5 of the 6 in our collection so I gave them a reread. The 6th The Cat's Quizzer I can only find used in Canada, the lowest price is $992. 

Books by Dr. Seuss:

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