A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Funny story meant to entertain. Introduces readers to Seuss, witty language, and a medieval setting.
Be polite, even if it gets you in trouble. Abide by the law -- it just might save you in the end. Believe in your innocence when you now you've done nothing wrong.
Positive Role Models
Bartholomew is polite and helpful throughout his ordeal, and his self-confidence never seems to fail him. Others persecute Bartholomew for something he cannot control. Grand Duke Wilfred is mean and bossy. The executioner finds a way to save Bartholomew by respecting the law.
Violence & Scariness
Bartholomew's hats are shot from his head with arrows. Bartholomew is imprisoned and subjected to a scary experiences, and repeatedly comes close to death. He's threatened with beheading, and there's a plot to push him from a castle tower. The king spanks his nephew.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is book by Dr. Seuss is an entrancing read-aloud. Bartholomew faces perils cheerfully, correctly assuming that his own blamelessness will carry him through -- he models good sense, optimism, and self-esteem. Beautiful prose, funny dialogue, and expressive illustrations may inspire kids to write their own tales or dramatize this one.
Is It Any Good?
This is a delightful, funny early Seuss book written in unrhymed prose and illustrated with witty cartoons, and it mkes a great read-aloud. The beautifully crafted prose rolls off the tongue, and there's a whole range of funny minor characters. Bartholomew is polite and helpful throughout his ordeal, and his self-confidence never seems to fail him. "The king can do nothing dreadful to punish me," he reasons, "because I really haven't done anything wrong."
This is best read one-on-one so listeners can ask questions, count hats, and peruse the lovingly drawn cartoons (black and white, with red reserved for Bartholomew's hats).
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.