Pros: Great illustrations and exciting story.
Cons: May be too dark for smaller children.
“The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” is one of Dr. Seuss’ earlier books as it is not written in the rhyming text that Dr. Seuss has been well known for. “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” is about a young boy named Bartholomew Cubbins who discovers that everytime he takes a hat off his head, a new one sprouts up on his head, which cause trouble for him when the king finds out about it. This book may be a bit too dark for smaller children, but older children will definitely enjoy this classic tale from Dr. Seuss.
Bartholomew Cubbins once owned a hat that belonged to his grandfather and it was the oldest hat in the Kingdom of Didd. But, Bartholomew loved his hat anyway because it had a feather sticking up in the air.
One day, however, Bartholomew decided to the market to sell his cranberries and just as he got to the gates of town, the King of Didd, King Derwin, came down the streets and the captain of the King’s own guards told everyone to take off their hats to show respect to the king. Suddenly, the king stopped the carriage and he looked at Bartholomew and commanded him to take off his hat. Bartholomew was puzzled and he told the king that his hat was off, but when Bartholomew felt his head, there was another hat on his head! Bartholomew tried to take the hat off his head, but every time he did, another one appeared on his head!
The King was so angry at this that he took Bartholomew to his palace and told him to take off his hat once again. Bartholomew tried to take off his hat, but more hats appeared on his head. The King then tried many different ways to get the hat off of Bartholomew’s head including letting his nephew, the Grand Duke Wilfred shoot the hats off Bartholomew’s head with his small arrows. Then, the King let his best bowman Yeoman of the Bowmen shoot off Bartholomew’s hats with his big bow and arrow and then he let his magicians chant a magic spell to get rid of Bartholomew’s hat. Eventually, the Grand Duke Wilfred told the king to chop off Bartholomew’s head!
Will Bartholomew’s head get chopped off and can Bartholomew get rid of his hat?
Read the rest of the book to find out!
Dr. Seuss’ early book is not written in the traditional rhyming text that he has been known for, but is instead written in a splendid narrative that is told in an extremely exciting and effective way. The story is also extremely creative as hats appeared on Bartholomew’s head with a real explanation which makes the matter mysterious. Dr. Seuss’ illustrations are once again in black and white with the exception of Bartholomew’s hats which are colored red, which effectively show how the hat has a huge importance to the story.
Parents should know that this is one of Dr. Seuss’ darkest books since it has many moments that would unsettle smaller children. One scene that children will definitely be upset about is the scene where Bartholomew is about to have his head chopped off. Parents may want to discuss this issue with children first before they read them this scene of the book.
“The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” is a wonderful tale that is both exciting and suspenseful for many children and will be enjoyed by many children for years to come. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up because of the extreme dark tone that this book presents that would scare smaller children.