A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The " chap" makes the narrator into a beast of burden. A general leaves the lead character to cope alone with wild beasts. The fellow's ultimate solution to his troubles is to carry a baseball bat.
Violence & Scariness
Small creatures bite the protagonist.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that fresh troubles keep popping up for the hapless narrator on his compelling, hilarious search for a utopian city. The narrator learns a valuable lesson, although in the end -- unfortunately -- he confronts his tormentors with a baseball bat.
Is It Any Good?
This is one of Dr. Seuss's more heavy-handed works, and its lesson about the folly of chasing happiness may go over kids' heads. And though it is a funny book, because of its black humor, it may be more amusing to adults than to children.
The book's ending is problematic for school audiences: "I've bought a big bat. / I'm all ready, you see. / Now my troubles are going / To have troubles with me!" One teacher buffered the idea by suggesting that Dr. Seuss wanted to encourage readers to protect themselves -- but by running away, saying "No!," telling a grown-up they know -- if anyone threatens them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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