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Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hatches the Egg (1940)

by Dr. Seuss

Series: Horton (1)

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Mayzie the bird just wants some time off from sitting on her nest when she spies Horton the elephant walking along and manages to persuade him into sitting on her egg for her. Once off on vacation, however, Mayzie decides she doesn't want to go back to her cramped conditions. Meanwhile, Horton weathers (literally and figuratively) through his egg-sitting chore through the seasons, despite jests and threats of harm, reminding himself and others that an elephant is always 100 percent faithful.

This is one of Dr. Seuss's earliest books for children and already evidence is there of all the Seuss characteristics to come. His prose is not quite as silly as some later books (i.e., nonsense words aren't really a thing in this title), but his rapid-paced rhyming schemes with repeating refrains are utilized in this book. His distinct style of illustration, with animals that are more Seussical than realistic, is also already on display. I really enjoyed how the illustrations made use of a limited palette (grays, reds, and a turquoise color) and yet they are still entirely engaging.

Without being overwhelming, this book presents a message about the virtues of certain character traits like responsibility, perseverance, trustworthiness, and endurance. These are great ideals for young children to be exposed to, even if it's a more subconscious way than not. Still, this book could open up conversations with little ones about why it's so important that Horton has these characteristics (and why it's equally important for they themselves to become people of character).

Meanwhile, the story takes so many twists and turns that young readers/listeners are completely captivated throughout its telling. While it's not my favorite Dr. Seuss book of all time (probably in part because I didn't read this one as a kid myself), it's still a good book to share with the young ones in your life. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jan 5, 2015 |
A cute children's book with a happy ending.

Why must people criticize a children's book with a lazy mother?
If you don't like the book go find another! ( )
  Kathryn_Brown | Dec 1, 2014 |
Fantastic book for kids! So imaginative and creative. Easy read that children will find delightful!

Dr. Seuss is always brilliant! His stories and rhymes are fun and entertaining! Some of my all time favorites!! Such a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading! ( )
  grapeapril75 | Oct 18, 2014 |
Had the pleasure of finding a treasure trove of old Dr. Seuss books in great condition at an estate sale. "Horton Hatches the Egg" is a surprisingly mature and suspenseful tale of the ever-faithful Horton, who is talked into sitting on the lazy Mayzie bird's egg while she takes a break, and decides to extend it indefinitely. The one-hundred percent faithful Horton stands his post through all manner of weather, embarrassment and danger. I'd forgotten how good some of Dr. Seuss' books were. I don't remember reading this as a child, but if I did, it would have totally enthralled me. ( )
  burnit99 | Aug 14, 2014 |
Hortan Hatches the Egg is charming and captivating! It is about an elephant who sits on an egg for a bird who needs a vacation. While on vacation, however, the bird decides that she is NEVER going back to her egg. Horton sits on the egg for 51 weeks through horrible weather, mean friends, and even being transported to the circus over mountains and sea! But he is faithful the whole way through and when the egg finally hatches, the bird wants it back! This part is heart wrenching for the reader. Dr. Seuss does a great job of getting the reader to feel for Horton and worry about him, be sad for him, and root for him. ( )
  KateSanders | Feb 28, 2014 |
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Sighed Mayzie, a lazy bird hatching an egg: "I'm tired and I'm bored and I've kinks in my leg from sitting, just sitting here day after day."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 039480077X, Hardcover)

Poor Horton. Dr. Seuss's kindly elephant is persuaded to sit on an egg while its mother, the good-for-nothing bird lazy Maysie, takes a break. Little does Horton know that Maysie is setting off for a permanent vacation in Palm Springs. He waits, and waits, never leaving his precarious branch, even through a freezing winter and a spring that's punctuated by the insults of his friends. ("They taunted. They teased him. They yelled 'How Absurd! Old Horton the Elephant thinks he's a bird!'") Further indignities await, but Horton has the patience of Job--from whose story this one clearly derives--and he is rewarded in the end by the surprise birth of... an elephant-bird. Horton Hatches the Egg contains some of Theodor Geisel's most inspired verse and some of his best-ever illustrations, the dated style of which only accentuates their power and charm. A book no childhood should be without. (Ages 2 to 7) --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:31 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When a lazy bird hatching an egg wants a vacation, she asks Horton, the elephant, to sit on her egg--which he does through all sorts of hazards until he is rewarded for doing what he said he would.

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