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The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

3.6 14
by Dr. Seuss

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As topical today as when it was first published in 1938, this book tells of Bartholomew Cubbins (from Caldecott Honor winner Bartholomew and the Oobleck) and his unjust treatment at the hands of King Derwin. Each time Bartholomew attempts to obey the king’s order to take off his hat, he finds there is another hat on his head. Soon it is


As topical today as when it was first published in 1938, this book tells of Bartholomew Cubbins (from Caldecott Honor winner Bartholomew and the Oobleck) and his unjust treatment at the hands of King Derwin. Each time Bartholomew attempts to obey the king’s order to take off his hat, he finds there is another hat on his head. Soon it is Bartholomew’s head that is in danger . . . of being chopped off! While The 500 Hats is one of Dr. Seuss’s earliest works, it is nevertheless totally Seussian, addressing subjects that we know the good doctor was passionate about: abuse of power (as in Yertle the Turtle), rivalry (as in The Sneetches), and of course, zany good humor!

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Staff
Dr. Seuss, pseudonym for Theodor Seuss Geisel, is world renowned for his inventiveness and wit. His stories are instantly recognizable by their use of fantastic words, clever rhymes, and unusual creatures-drawn in his distinctive style.
From the Publisher
"A lovely bit of tom-foolery which keeps up the suspense and surprise until the last page."--The New York Times.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Classic Seuss Series
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
AD520L (what's this?)
File size:
21 MB
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A lovely bit of tom-foolery which keeps up the suspense and surprise until the last page."—The New York Times.  

Meet the Author

THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL—aka Dr. Seuss—is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. From The Cat in the Hat to Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, his iconic characters, stories, and art style have been a lasting influence on generations of children and adults. The 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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
March 2, 1904
Date of Death:
September 4, 1991
Place of Birth:
Springfield, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
La Jolla, California
B.A., Dartmouth College, 1925; Oxford University (no degree)

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The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. It is also one of my favorite books about finding opportunities in the midst of problems. Any budding curious mind will find this book encouraging of looking at things differently, so see what potential they hold. A child who is interested in science may find this book to be a useful metaphor throughout life. The book is the first of two that Dr. Seuss wrote about King Derwin of Didd and Bartholomew Cubbins. If you decide you like this tale, I suggest that you also read Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Here's the apparent problem. Bartholomew has taken a basket of cranberries to town to sell, so he can take the money to his parents. While there, the king passes by, and the cry goes out, 'Hats off to the King!' Bartholomew complies, but the king glares at him. There's still a hat on Bartholomew's head, even though he has removed the original one! The captain of the King's Own Guard grabs Bartholomew and takes him the castle, where the king gets more and more angry. And more and more hats keep appearing. Soon, Sir Alaric, Keeper of the King's Records, indicates there are hundreds. The king tries everything he can think of, including calling on Sir Snipps {the royal hat maker}, his wise men (Nadd, father of Nadd, and the father of the father of Nadd), musicians, magicians, his nephew the Grand Duke Wilfred, bowmen, and even the executioner. But the executioner cannot even lop off his head to solve the problem, because the executioner cannot take Bartholomew's hat off. Grand Duke Wilfred offers to kill Bartholomew by throwing him off the top of the castle. But a strange thing happens along the way, and Bartholomew is saved and richly rewarded! Throughout, Bartholomew has worn his honesty and good intentions well, and he has led a charmed life. In the end, 'They could only say it just 'happened to happen' and was not very likely to happen again.' As a caution, you should be aware that Bartholomew is put in situations where people are angry with him and several times is at risk of injury or loss of life. Without proper preparation, this story could frighten your child. I suggest that you wait to introduce this story until your child no longer gets nightmares from stories, and firmly believes you and is comfortable when you say that everyone lives happily ever after. In our family, this meant that our rough and tumble boys were ready for this story before our equally rough and tumble daughter was. Our more sensitive daughter was never introduced to the story. She would hate it. I also suggest that this book be read for the first time early in the day. If you detect any quesiness with Bartholomew's situation, you can stop the book at that point. It is not particularly frightening in the beginning. The book is beautifully produced in black and white, with red added to provide colorful contrast for the hats. Dr. Seuss did a remarkable job here with perspective in his drawings. This method nicely adds depth to the story. He starts by comparing the king's view of the valley with the valley view of the King's castle. The one view makes the king feel grand while the other makes the subjects feel small. This theme of perspective continues with the hats. Bartholomew has certainly removed his hat. That means he has done the right thing. When a new hat appears, that means that he still needs to remove his hat. That appears to the king like a slight, as though no hat had been removed. The king's rather grand ego cannot stand that. So you can think about the problem as a clash in perspectives about showing respect. Is is good or bad to have lots of hats? Usually it is good, and the story allows you to see both the good and the bad sides of this perspective. You might also use this book to introduce visual and relative perspectives more generally to your child. Go look at the end of a corridor and see how rectangular it is. Walk al
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spoiler alert Unlike other Dr. Suess books. Long and written in prose instead of poetry. Threats to execute Bartholomew by chopping off his head and pushing him off a tower may not be appropriate for some children. My grandson did not like this book.
love_my_Lord More than 1 year ago
My 6 year-old LOVES this book! He is fascinated with the unending supply of hats on this poor boys head and the ending is the best - well also how the hats get him in trouble with the King, but also save his life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
empeegee More than 1 year ago
I love this book. When I was a little girl, the public library had a summer reading program. Each year had a different theme. When I was in the 2nd grade, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins was the theme and we were given a large paper hat. For every book you read you received a small hat to paste onto the large hat. I don't remember how many hats I collected, but since we lived only a short distance from the library and we were all voracious readers I earned a lot of hats. I can't remember any of the other summer themes, but Bartholomew Cubbins made a huge impression on me and made me a lifelong reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book tp myself in the early grades, so I can't address the scary issues to a young child. I was a timid, withdrawn little girl who despised The Cat in the Hat.Then I read The 500 Hats, and reread it and reread it. Such is its power, that 50+years later, awakened by bone pain from chemotherapy, I opened my B & N email, saw this title, and was immediately transported to the hat-strewn climb in the castle tower. I'm buying a copy today. In fact, now that I know about the sequel, I'm buying it, too!
Thorne2112 More than 1 year ago
The very first tale of Bartholomew Cubbins is a masterpiece in every sense of the word.
Chick1550 More than 1 year ago
Another good Dr. Seuss story that helps children understand what counting is all about. This was my favorite when I was growing up and I am looking forward to reading it with my grandchildren.
Bas-Bleu51 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book for little boys. My grandsons ages 8 to 2 really love to have their young Uncle read to them his favorite book from his early childhood. Dr. Seuss just has that ability to entertain even a modern day tech-no kid!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
BEST DR. SEUESS BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!