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Horton Hears a Who

Book review by
Robyn Raymer, Common Sense Media
Horton Hears a Who Book Poster Image
A whimsical tale with a stirring message.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

One of the villains (an eagle) is named Vlad Vlad-i-koff. In 1954 even liberal Seuss may have been catering to the notion that Russians were evil.

Violence & Scariness

An eagle drops a dust speck full of tiny people and buildings onto the ground, causing moderate destruction. A gang of monkeys rope Horton and force him into a cage. Horton endures sneering and physical abuse from other animals that think he is crazy to


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids will cheer for huge Horton, defender of the small. They'll identify with the spindly little beings of the dust speck, and rail against the sour kangaroo and his monkey henchmen.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byrickydoo85 April 9, 2008
Adult Written byArt Isall April 26, 2014

Very Scary!

I was very surprised this did not have a scary rating. There are many scary aspects in this film. The kangaroo is very mean. There is a mob scene that is terrif... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old March 18, 2012

Horton is a hero...

And is nice to others!
Teen, 14 years old Written byTweetybird April 9, 2008


it was a great movie i liked it it was the best movie ever i want to watch it about a thousand times so i can crack up some more every time i see it.

What's the story?

Horton adopts a petite planet full of perky little persons led by a tiny, gallant mayor. Believing Horton must be crazy to befriend a dust speck, a snooty, meddlesome kangaroo and her gang of monkey roughnecks decide to boil the elephant's microscopic pals in Beezle-Nut oil! Seuss takes readers on a whimsical tale with a stirring message.

Is it any good?

Inside hulking Horton dwells the soul of a gentle, steadfast caretaker, and Seuss uses the elephant's immensity to make a point about taking care of those more vulnerable than ourselves. In one two-page picture, Horton is so huge that there are only a few scraps of blue sky showing. In contrast, the dust speck on the pink clover is bitty indeed. (And if their planet is this tiny, how microscopic are the Whos?) Gigantic-eared Horton hears them all along -- perhaps his compassionate soul acts as a cosmic hearing aid.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Horton's compassion. Why does he feel the need to help small, vulnerable beings? What does this teach us about how to treat others in the real world?

Book details

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