And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

Book review by
Robyn Raymer, Common Sense Media
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street Book Poster Image
Colorful flight of fancy has problematic stereotypes.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain. Introduces kids to rhyming poetry.

Positive Messages

It's fun to make up stories.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Marco is imaginative and upbeat. Everyone is White except an Indian rajah and a stereotyped "Chinese man who eats with sticks."

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, originally published in 1937, was Dr. Seuss' first book for children. The colorful and lively pictures, bouncy rhyming text, and speedily escalating fantasy will appeal to kids who, like main character Marco, love to embroider the truth. Marco describes all sorts of things and people on this street. However, those depicted include stereotypes of people of color, including an Indian rajah on an elephant, and "a Chinese man who eats with sticks" wearing a conical hat and eating from a bowl with chopsticks as he runs down the street.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLebron12James3 May 22, 2021

It’s so inappropriate but yet sooooo good

And to think that I saw it on mulberry street is a extremely powerful novel. But it is not for kids because it’s very inappropriate.
Kid, 10 years old September 30, 2019

Not the best but Solid.

Not as bad as what kids said before this review was added but still not the best. It’s creative and fun.
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 November 18, 2010

Not the greatest Dr. Seuss book

I like most Dr. Seuss books, but this one was okay. For a Dr. Seuss book, it was kinda boring

What's the story?

In AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET, young Marco weaves a tall tale about a Roman charioteer, an elephant, a zebra, and a menagerie parading down the title thoroughfare in this, the first of Dr. Seuss' many classics. The simple story is an indictment of stern, soul-crushing adults who stifle creativity and a colorful flight of fancy for kids.

 

Is it any good?

Seuss' illustrations here are as colorful, energetic, and fanciful as his writing. In one illustration, a blue elephant pulls a sled so fast that it and its passengers sail through the air. But the illustrations in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street that rely on ethnic stereotypes are problematic.

As with many of Dr. Seuss' other zany stories, this one rests on a foundation of indignation -- in this case, against sober-minded grown-ups who frown on kids' delightful imaginations. But Marco fans may feel sad when the boy is too intimidated by his austere dad to tell his Mulberry Street tale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Marco's wild imagination in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. What do you think of the stories Marco makes up? 

  • What do you think of the relationship between Marco and his dad? Why wouldn't his dad want to hear his story?

  • What kinds of stories do you like to make up? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Dr. Seuss

Themes & Topics

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