Horton Hatches the Egg



Integrity is rewarded in poignant, funny tale.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Horton suffers many hardships, and young children may feel sorry for him.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that young readers will instantly sympathize with the huge, gentle egg-sitter, and will pick up on his noble motto: "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant."

What's the story?

When Mayzie bird grows bored with life on the nest, she fast-talks huge but gentle Horton the elephant into taking over her incubation duties in this Dr. Seuss classic. Standing (well, sitting) firm against foul weather, hecklers, and hunters, Horton is a true hero. A poignant, funny read-aloud in which integrity and nurturing are rewarded.


Is it any good?


This is a highly moral tale without a whiff of grim old Aesop. Its hero is a kindly, slightly goofy elephant who's the soul of integrity: Sir Thomas More meets Dumbo. Horton is less preachy than Barney, more expressive than Babar, and as steadfast and loving as Charlotte the spider.

Dr. Seuss's beautiful cartoon drawings (black and white accented with red and green) bustle, zigzag, stroll, and stampede across the page. Countless witty details include grumpy Mayzie slumped way off in a corner as Horton holds his little one aloft to wild applause. Dr. Seuss's genius is especially evident in Horton's facial expressions and body language. His big, cheerful countenance morphs from an "Oy! What a headache!" face to a look of misery with red-rimmed eyes and drooping trunk to a heroic arms-crossed, chin-high "Shoot me if you must, but I shall never desert my post!" stance.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what Horton stands for. What is most important to Horton? What qualities make him so endearing?

Book details

Author:Dr. Seuss
Illustrator:Dr. Seuss
Genre:Short Stories
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:October 31, 1940
Number of pages:55
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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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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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bySpiff April 9, 2008
Adorable story about the benefits of perseverence...the only part that bothers me is the hunters with guns...
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008
Teen, 17 years old Written byRosebud95 May 1, 2013

I only watched the cartoon...

But all in all, it's a fun story :D
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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