Horton Hatches an Egg, by Dr. Seuss
Given the recent box office smash that is Horton Hears a Who, I decided now would be a good time to honor Horton and review one of our favorite books, Horton Hatches an Egg.
Summary: Horton, the ideal hero, runs into a lazy bird, Mayzie, who is looking for someone to sit on her nest while she takes a break. Given his size, Horton is reluctant at first but, because he is so thoughtful of others, agrees to give her a break. He keeps the egg warm through every foreseeable problem (bad weather, taunts from other animals, and even hunters), while Mayzie decides she'll make her vacation permanent. In the end, Horton is captured by the hunters and sold to the circus with the egg he is still warming. More hardships occur until, one day, Mayzie happens upon Horton just as the egg is finally hatching. She demands the egg back (the hard work has been done), but as a sad Horton begins to relent, the egg hatches...revealing something wonderful!!
Underlying Lessons: Rewards come to those who are loyal, work hard, and consider others.
Where do I begin?
1) As with all Dr. Seuss books, fun with language abounds. Your child will be introduced to almost every poetic device and enjoy the fun of rhyming.
2) The characters are so engaging and there are even references made for the enjoyment of the adults reading (he cites Palm Beach and Weehauken!)
3) The lesson is obvious without being preachy.
4) Illustrations are imaginative...as always.
5) The book really helps children develop a sense of empathy for others and also clearly demonstrates heroic behavior.
6) Even the cynics among us are compelled to root for good ol' Horton
This book is lengthy and so, if you have a child with a short attention span when it comes to books, expect to work toward a complete reading.
Overall Rating: Four Sippy Cups!!
Four Sippy Cups: The Pulitzer of Childrens Literature: a classic work (or soon to be)
Three Sippy Cups: Better Than Most and good enough that you still won’t mind reading for the 236th time.
Two Sippy Cups: Fair enough to keep on the bookshelf, but no love lost if the pages get ripped, the binding gets chewed, or some lovely drool dampens the pages
One Sippy Cup: Consider it the newest addition to the diaper genie
No Cups: The only argument I’ve found in favor of book burning