Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Dr. Seuss's Second Book
The haughty ruler of Didd, King Derwin (who would foolishly go on to summon green goo from the sky in his later years) showed the first signs of his silly self-importance back in this 1938 Seuss classic, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.
When Bartholomew visits town one day, selling cranberries at the market for his parents, the King's procession screeches to a halt in front of him; King Derwin then leans out of his coach, demanding to know why Bartholomew hasn't respectfully removed his hat. "But, Sire, my hat is off." He shows the king the hat in his hands that he's just doffed, but sure enough, another identical one sits atop his head. He takes that hat off only to reveal another... and another, and another, and another. Poor Bartholomew goes through 45 hats, then 136, then 233, as the angry king calls in every expert in the kingdom, from Sir Snipps the haberdasher to the Father of the Father of Nadd. In the end, Bartholomew barely gets away with his head (forget about the hats!), as Seuss spins this weird and wacky tale, a strange thing that "just happened to happen and was not very likely to happen again." (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
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