Today is a very special day. It is the day of the publication of the first Dr. Suess book to be published since Oh, The Places You’ll Go! in 1990. To celebrate the release of What Pet Should I Get?, multiple bloggers are revisiting the classics from our childhood as well as giving away copies of the newest release. I am thrilled to be featuring one of my favorite books of my own childhood…
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Horton is back! After his first appearance in Horton Hatches the Egg, everyone’s favorite elephant returns in this timeless, moving, and comical classic in which we discover that “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” Thanks to the irrepressible rhymes and eye-catching illustrations, young readers will learn kindness and perseverance (as well as the importance of a good “Yopp”) from the very determined—and very endearing—Horton the elephant.
Who here hasn’t read Horton Hears a Who! at least once during their lifetime? Perhaps you don’t remember the magic of having it read to you, or perhaps you’re more familiar with the classic animated film version of the story, or even more recently with the extended computer animated version. But regardless of your exposure to this classic tale, we all have learned the same lessons from its telling. And for those who have not read, nor seen, any version of Horton Hears a Who! – you should get on that. Like I said, lessons…
In my honest opinion, Horton Hears a Who! is one of Dr. Seuss’s more complex stories with an actual linear plot. We are introduced to Horton, who is already a bit of an outcast in his community of otherwise pretentious animals. He is care free and looked down upon for his behavior. It goes without saying that the other easily find reason to fault Horton when he begins to talk to an insignificant dandelion fluff. Their actions mirror the ways in which those in our own society look down upon others who are different or more “simple” than themselves. Horton Hears a Who! teaches us about the lengths society will go to suppress those who speak against the status-quo or the collective beliefs of the majority.
One of the more important plot points is the fate of the residences of the dandelion fluff. A whole world of Whovians, whose future depends on the success of the protagonist, Horton. The size of their world mimics the relative size of our own in this vast, vast universe. To whom out there beyond our own sight might our own lives be determined “insignificant”?
As Horton himself states:
Many of these complex lessons may go over young one’s heads, but even the smallest of children can easily understand that how the kangaroos, the vulture, the birds and the monkeys treat Horton is just not right. The suspense of the novel, and the ultimate fate of the Whovians, will keep both young and old hooked until the end. Even those who know what happens next.
I can be as introspective and philosophical as I want in this post, but regardless… The lessons gained, no matter how big nor how small, do matter.
Horton Hears a Who! is a story will last as long as humanity itself.
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