How the Grinch Stole Christmas



Dr. Seuss subtly exposes greed and commercialism.

What parents need to know

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

Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:October 12, 1957
Number of pages:54
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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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

A great book for young readers.

I think that little kids love this book because it is so lively and nice. It teaches things like christmas is more than just presents and things. I read it over and over again just because it is so funny. Dr. Seuss' way of rhyming without turning the whole book into a poem is enjoyable to read out loud. I have sworn to mysel to read it at least twice when I'm older.
Teen, 13 years old Written byschuymarch1 April 9, 2008

Great Dr. Seuss book!

One of the best.
Teen, 14 years old Written bycookie monster April 9, 2008

OMG I love this book

Holy cow this is my fave little kid book EVER I'm like way too old for it now but its incredibly cute and I watch the movie every year around Christmas.


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