Great Illustrated Books

Bartholomew and the Oobleck

By Dr. Seuss

Random House, 1949
Pages : 56
Suggested Ages: 6-9
ISBN: 9780385379045

King Derwin of the Kingdom of Didd gets angry a lot. The year he started grumbling at the sky, though, his page Bartholomew Cubbins just didn't know what to make of it. He growled at the spring's rain, the summer's sunshine, the autumn's fog, and the winter's snow. "Every year the same four things! I'm mighty tired of those old things! I want something NEW to come down!" The king knows who can help him with such a request: his royal magicians. "But, Your Majesty, I still think that you may be very sorry," Bartholomew says.

You may have heard the chant of the magicians: "We are men of groans and howls,/Mystic men who eat boiled owls." They promise the king a new substance to fall from the sky: OOBLECK. They continue with their ridiculous chanting that only true magicians could memorize to say in unison: "Oh, snow and rain are not enough!/Oh, we must make some brand-new stuff!" By burning wet mouse hair, an onion, a chair, chin-whiskers, a long sour lizard skin, yellow twigs, red rust, and a stocking full of dust, the magicians manage to form a green cloud of the mysterious substance. As it falls, the king is delighted, but the sticky oobleck becomes a dangerous problem as it descends on his realm in bigger and bigger sizes.

Make your own oobleck! Combine cornstarch, water, and green food coloring (see a recipe here: Just make sure you take off any bracelets or rings first, if you don't want to lose them! Mystify your kids by bringing out a big bowl of the stuff, and claim you had it shipped from the Kingdom of Didd. They'll love to roll it around in their hands, get stuck in it themselves and share in the plot.

Reviewed by : CH.


If you love this book, then try:

Barrett, Judi. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Atheneum, 1978.

Munsch, Robert. The Paper Bag Princess. Annick, 1992.

Seuss, Dr. Horton Hears a Who! Random House, 1954.

Seuss, Dr. The Lorax. Random House, 1971.

Seuss, Dr. The Sneetches and Other Stories. Random House, 1961.

Critics have said

Bartholomew and the Oobleck easily qualifies as a Seuss classic, first told way back in 1949. And its message--the importance of owning up to your mistakes and saying that you're sorry--is as timeless now as it was then.