The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins Book Poster Image

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

A delightful, funny early Seuss effort.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Others persecute Bartholomew for something he cannot control. The king spanks his nephew.

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. Bartholomew is threatened with beheading, and there's a plot to push him from a castle tower.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 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.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

When King Derwin's carriage rolls into town, Bartholomew Cubbins respectfully removes his hat along with everyone else. But another hat appears upon the boy's head -- and another, and another, and another. Furious, King Derwin orders Bartholomew to be brought to the palace. Various royal experts try in vain to get rid of the boy's bewitched headgear, and when Bartholomew receives a death sentence, the friendly executioner explains that it's unlawful to behead people with their hats on.

The king's nasty young nephew offers to push Bartholomew from the highest turret, and on the way upstairs the hats -- which Bartholomew keeps removing -- grow fancier and fancier. Derwin is so entranced by hat 500, a plumed, bejeweled dazzler, that he pardons Bartholomew, spanks his nephew, and buys the hat for 500 gold pieces. Once the king lifts his purchase from Bartholomew's head, the boy is relieved to feel breezes ruffling his hair.

Is it any good?


This is a delightful, funny early Seuss effort written in unrhymed prose and illustrated with witty cartoons, and it's a satisfying 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). Perhaps due to the fact that not everyone could see the pictures well, a second-grade reading audience had trouble focusing. They were unanimous, however, in their dislike of mean, bossy Grand Duke Wilfred: "I'd push him off that tower!"

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Bartholomew's plight. Have you ever been blamed for something that wasn't your fault? How did you handle it? Were you, like Bartholomew, absolved in the end? How do you think Bartholomew's situation might have turned out if he had been less gracious and polite?

Book details

Author:Dr. Seuss
Illustrator:Dr. Seuss
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:September 1, 1938
Number of pages:48

This review of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins was written by

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

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

About Our Ratings

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate.

Get more information about our ratings.

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 0 years old September 28, 2009

Look this - It's ALL FOR You Life. ;) portable hard drive shark vacuum outdoor bar friendship mini fridge gladiator sandals swivel chairs spare tire cover school backpacks matresses shirts premier jewelry stackable washe dell laptops inflatable water gazebo unlocked cell vinyl tablecloth pool vacuum rolling backpacks null ab machines ear gauges frontline plus upholstered headboard patio chair sling backpacks lunch boxes lg dare mini laptops nike shox nike shox laptop hard drive shoes evening dress house numbers iphone covers flat screen tv candle lanterns Backpacks Girls
Kid, 0 years old October 28, 2009

Faced with such a situation here Need advice

So much I want for my babbie playing card inserted in romantic music, here assorted up the scrollcatalog, I like many than a factor, I do not know why. What guidance that will do you give to the track? [url= Lopez La Factoria (19 may 2007) mp3[/url] [url= Martinez Alteration EP mp3[/url] [url= Sato and Akemmi Kanda Love Sensation mp3[/url] [url= V-Lock Ghost EP (SAS0713) mp3[/url] [url= Artists Tribaloide part Nine mp3[/url] [url= Origin Borderline Psycho (Enzyme Infusco Xtrentsure ) mp3[/url] [url= Farmer Modern Art mp3[/url] [url= Factor Convergence remix EP mp3[/url] [url=]Lucid Insurges mp3[/url] [url= Artists Promo Only Rhythm radio (4 february 2004) mp3[/url]
Kid, 0 years old October 27, 2009

very nice web

Thanks for the info This is a very cool website. I am bookmarking it right now