Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Book review by
Robyn Raymer, Common Sense Media
Bartholomew and the Oobleck Book Poster Image
A joyful read-aloud with a message.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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

Violence & Scariness

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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.
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'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."

Talk to your kids 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
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
  • Number of pages: 48
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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