How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Book review by
Robyn Raymer, Common Sense Media
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Book Poster Image
Dr. Seuss subtly exposes greed and commercialism.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 6 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The Grinch steals the entire community's Christmas goodies, but the thief experiences a complete change of heart. He cruelly mistreats his dog at first.

Violence & Scariness

The Grinch may scare the littlest readers


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the lovingly constructed rhymes teach the merit of making reparations for misdeeds, and question the commercialization of Christmas. Kids love hating the mean, funny villain and cheering his reformation. Whimsical illustrations and witty rhymes keep kids captivated.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMichael Loughrie February 20, 2016

Oh damn what a classic!

This is the king of all classics, in books, movies, and even music. This is the king of classics. And it should live on. The book is awesome!
Adult Written byLowe's man March 22, 2015

essential reading

This book is a classic, and for good reason. While The Grinch is coldhearted at first, he reforms himself at the end. At that point the Whos forgive him, a re... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byelisehenshaw March 6, 2014

Really Nice Book For All Ages

Really nice Christmas Eve bedtime story, to be honest I read it 365 days a year! I'm age 15 and usually into adult books but this is the one children'... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old December 6, 2009

a good bedtime story for little readers.

This book is a good book to read at bedtime with little readers. But make sure those little reader arnt to littl or the grinch might scare them.

What's the story?

The cantankerous Grinch hates the holidays--principally because of the Yuletide racket. Aiming to halt Christmas in its festive tracks, the potbellied, pink-eyed Seussian Scrooge impersonates Santa and confiscates every last Who-ville Christmas bauble and goody, from trees to tricycles to cans of Who-hash. This classic Christmas read-aloud features one of the funniest scoundrels in children's literature.

Is it any good?

Dr. Seuss subtly exposes greed and commercialism and promotes the values of love and community with wit, humor, and flawlessly constructed rhymes. The true spirit of Christmas leaps off the double-page spread of the Whos holding hands, even after all their Christmas presents and decorations have been stolen. Cleverly, Dr. Seuss uses the same picture presented at the beginning of the story (when readers first meet the Whos) to show that their spirit has not changed.

The illustrations are in pen and ink, with some red added. This kind of printing was common in 1957, when the book was first published, but it may disappoint modern readers who have seen the animated and/or live-action movie versions and expect full-color illustrations. However, the energy, vitality, and charm of both drawings and verse make this book a treasured American classic.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about holiday customs. What traditions do you look forward to when your celebrate your holiday? Would the holiday be as meaningful if it were stripped of some of the more decorative elements?

Book details

  • Author: Dr. Seuss
  • Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
  • Genre: Holiday
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publication date: October 12, 1957
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
  • Number of pages: 54
  • Last updated: October 18, 2017

Top advice and articles

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate