The King's Stilts: Read & Listen Edition [NOOK Book]

Overview

One of Dr. Seuss's earliest works, The King's Stilts shows how important it is to both work hard and play hard. In the Kingdom of Binn, King Birtram works very hard, up at five every morning to ensure the kingdom is running smoothly. But at five o'clock in the afternoon, the workday ends and it's time to play . . . and in the case of King Birtram, that means racing around town on a pair of red stilts! But sour old Lord Droon doesn't think that this kind of fun is befitting Binn's king, and he steals the beloved ...
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Overview

One of Dr. Seuss's earliest works, The King's Stilts shows how important it is to both work hard and play hard. In the Kingdom of Binn, King Birtram works very hard, up at five every morning to ensure the kingdom is running smoothly. But at five o'clock in the afternoon, the workday ends and it's time to play . . . and in the case of King Birtram, that means racing around town on a pair of red stilts! But sour old Lord Droon doesn't think that this kind of fun is befitting Binn's king, and he steals the beloved stilts. Missing the stilts, King Birtram cannot have fun. In his sadness, the king doesn't notice that Binn is in danger: the Dike Trees that hold back the sea are being destroyed by the evil Nizzards. Can young Eric the page boy outsmart the dreary Droon and save the day?

This Read & Listen edition contains audio narration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385383318
  • Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Sales rank: 439,382
  • File size: 30 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Theodor Seuss Geisel — aka Dr. Seuss — is, quite simply, one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. The forty-four books he wrote and illustrated under the name Dr. Seuss (and others that he wrote but did not illustrate, including some under the pseudonyms Theo. LeSieg and Rosetta Stone) have been translated into thirty languages. Hundreds of millions of copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world. Dr. Seuss’s long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck; the Pulitzer Prize; and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys, and a Peabody.

Biography

Now that generations of readers have been reared on The Cat in the Hat and Fox in Socks, it's easy to forget how colorless most children's books were before Dr. Seuss reinvented the genre. When the editorial cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1936, the book was turned down by 27 publishers, many of whom said it was "too different." Geisel was about to burn his manuscript when it was rescued and published, under the pen name Dr. Seuss, by a college classmate.

Over the next two decades, Geisel concocted such delightfully loopy tales as The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and Horton Hears a Who. Most of his books earned excellent reviews, and three received Caldecott Honor Awards. But it was the 1957 publication of The Cat in the Hat that catapulted Geisel to celebrity.

Rudolf Flesch's book Why Johnny Can't Read, along with a related Life magazine article, had recently charged that children's primers were too pallid and bland to inspire an interest in reading. The Cat in the Hat, written with 220 words from a first-grade vocabulary list, "worked like a karate chop on the weary little world of Dick, Jane and Spot," as Ellen Goodman wrote in The Detroit Free Press. With its vivid illustrations, rhyming text and topsy-turvy plot, Geisel's book for beginning readers was anything but bland. It sold nearly a million copies within three years.

Geisel was named president of Beginner Books, a new venture of Random House, where he worked with writers and artists like P.D. Eastman, Michael Frith, Al Perkins, and Roy McKie, some of whom collaborated with him on book projects. For books he wrote but didn't illustrate, Geisel used the pen name Theo LeSieg (LeSieg is Geisel spelled backwards).

As Dr. Seuss, he continued to write bestsellers. Some, like Green Eggs and Ham and the tongue-twisting Fox in Socks, were aimed at beginning readers. Others could be read by older children or read aloud by parents, who were often as captivated as their kids by Geisel's wit and imagination. Geisel's visual style appealed to television and film directors, too: The animator Chuck Jones, who had worked with Geisel on a series of Army training films, brought How the Grinch Stole Christmas! to life as a hugely popular animated TV special in 1966. A live-action movie starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch was released in 2000.

Many Dr. Seuss stories have serious undertones: The Butter Battle Book, for example, parodies the nuclear arms race. But whether he was teaching vocabulary words or values, Geisel never wrote plodding lesson books. All his stories are animated by a lively sense of visual and verbal play. At the time of his death in 1991, his books had sold more than 200 million copies. Bennett Cerf, Geisel's publisher, liked to say that of all the distinguished authors he had worked with, only one was a genius: Dr. Seuss.

Good To Know

The Cat in the Hat was written at the urging of editor William Spaulding, who insisted that a book for first-graders should have no more than 225 words. Later, Bennett Cerf bet Geisel $50 that he couldn't write a book with just 50 words. Geisel won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, though to his recollection, Cerf never paid him the $50.

Geisel faced another challenge in 1974, when his friend Art Buchwald dared him to write a political book. Geisel picked up a copy of Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! and a pen, crossed out each mention of the name "Marvin K. Mooney," and replaced it with "Richard M. Nixon." Buchwald reprinted the results in his syndicated column. Nine days later, President Nixon announced his resignation.

The American Heritage Dictionary says the word "nerd" first appeared in print in the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo: "And then, just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo / And bring back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo / A Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!" The word "grinch," after the title character in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is defined in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as a killjoy or spoilsport.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Theodor Seuss Geisel (full name); also: Theo LeSieg, Rosetta Stone
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 2, 1904
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      September 4, 1991
    2. Place of Death:
      La Jolla, California

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2001

    Play Hard . . . Work Hard!

    Many young people are unsure about the proper balance between work and fun. As a result, they tend to overemphasize one or the other. Dr. Seuss has created a wonderful book here to relieve youngsters of the sense that they should work hard all of the time. This is an early book by Dr. Seuss, and it is written in prose rather than rhyme. Despite this, the prose often has a definite meter, and he sneaks in rhyming words now and again. The illustrations are predominately in black and white, but splashes of red are used for emphasis to good effect. The story is quite funny. The king's passion is to run around the kingdom on his red stilts. But he never does so until after putting in a full twelve hours of grueling work. Never was there a harder working king than Birtram. He even signs papers while taking a bath at five in the morning! He feels very responsible, because he kingdom is threatened by natural disaster if he lets down his guard. Who could begrudge such a fine king his fun? Well, there is one who does. Where could that lead? I also found the book very good for introducing the concept of how we all rely on one another for our well-being. For example, this story can also help a parent explain the need to go to work, despite a sincere desire to stay and play with her or his child. I think the book is good, too, for helping children think about what kind of work they might want to do when they are older. What benefit would they like others to receive from their work? How hard would they like to work? What difficulties would be bearable, and which would be too much? After you finish enjoying this book, I suggest that you and your child spend time planning how you can have more fun playing together, and still meet your responsibilities. You can also tell your child about different kinds of work that adults do, and what the stresses and strains are. Although no four year old is going to choose a vocation, it is never too soon to start providing the raw material for mental exploration of work alternatives. Most of us will spend more time working than anything else we will do in our lives except sleep! May you and your family find ways to play hard that energize and excite you to do your work well! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2001

    Early Suess is a Winner!

    I thought I had read all of Suess, if not as a reading parent, certainly as a child. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book at our library during a week featuring Dr. Suess books. I found all my childhood favorites and then came upon THE KING'S STILTS, one I had never read. My daughter and I fell in love with it immediately. I kept trying to read it with some rhythem and rhyme, but it is written in prose with just a hint at Suess' later genious with rhythem and rhyme. The story had appeal for my daughter because of the awesome patrol cats and I enjoy the story of King who has had his fun taken away. Its a good story for teaching 'Do the right thing' and all sorts of other good lessons about life and having fun. Its my daughter's birthday next week and she is getting a new book of THE KING'S STILTS and my husband is making her a pair of stilts which we will paint red. Get ready for stilt fun!!

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