Bartholomew and the Oobleck

 
(i)

 

A joyful read-aloud with a message.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Magicians eat owls, chant spells, and use repulsive ingredients.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is chock-full of hilarious Seussian text and zany pictures to match. It's a great pleasure to read aloud. Questioning the wisdom of tampering with nature, the story may prompt a discussion about weather. The merits of apologizing are pointed out through well-crafted writing.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Page boy Bartholomew is dismayed when King Derwin begins to grouse about weather's humdrum nature. To the boy's alarm, His Majesty summons the royal magicians, a shuffling, incantation-mumbling crew. The magicians boil up a pot of brew and send it out over the kingdom to rain down oobleck.

The king is thrilled with his very own brand of weather, but Bartholomew knows the oobleck is trouble. He scurries around the palace trying to sound the alarm, but everyone is incapacitated by the gluey stuff. Only after the entire kingdom is buried in green glop does the king apologize. The words \"I'm sorry\" have a miraculous effect: The oobleck melts away, and the chastened ruler decides that the old-fashioned kinds of weather will do just fine.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This is a satisfying (though longish) read-aloud experience for adults, especially closet comedians. And while children may be attracted to chaos, they also crave order; Dr. Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch are mesmerizing because of their power to make messes -- and speedily clean them up again.The unrhymed prose in the opening pages may lose the youngest listeners, but the royal magicians will keep them giggling until the oobleck begins to fall. This moldy troop of weirdos has some of the funniest lines (and the only rhyming ones) in the book: "Shuffle, duffle, muzzle, muff. / Fista, wista, mista-cuff. / We are men of groans and howls, / Mystic men who eat boiled owls."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about oobleck. Do you think oobleck would be fun to play in, or sticky and yucky? What would you do if you were stuck in a big puddle of oobleck?

Book details

Author:Dr. Seuss
Illustrator:Dr. Seuss
Genre:Fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:October 12, 1949
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Bartholomew and the Oobleck was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written bymooker May 24, 2014
 

slimey mess!

the book and its illustrations are so wonderful that it should be made into a disney animated film
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bypicardisbetter June 29, 2015
 

Best Dr. Suess book EEEVVVEEERRR

Best story, best characters, best conflict and best basically everything. No further description needed.
What other families should know
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass