Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Common Sense Media says

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
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.

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Kids say

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?


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
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

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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.

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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


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