In this Caldecott Honor-winning picture book, join Bartholomew Cubbins in Dr. Seuss's classic tale of one king's magical mishap.
Bored with rain, sun, fog, and snow, King Derwin of Didd summons his royal magicians to create something new and exciting to fall from the sky. What he gets is a storm of sticky green globs called Oobleck, which soon causes a royal mess. But with the assistance of the wise page boy Bartholomew, the king (along with young readers) learns that the simplest words can sometimes solve the biggest problems.
While Bartholomew and the Oobleck is one of Dr. Seuss's lesser known works, it is nevertheless totally Seussian and as topical today as when it was first published in 1949, addressing subjects that we know the good doctor was passionate about throughout his life: the abuse of power (as in Yertle the Turtle and Horton Hears a Who); rivalry (as in The Sneetches); and of course, zany good humor (as in The Cat in the Hat and the 43 other books he wrote and illustrated)! This is a perfect way to introduce new readers to an old classic or to reward existing fans.
With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children as well as helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic 'Cat in the Hat', and ranked among the world's top children's authors, Dr. Seuss is a global best-seller, with nearly half a billion books sold worldwide.
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born 2 March 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated Dartmouth College in 1925, and proceeded on to Oxford University with the intent of acquiring a doctorate in literature. At Oxford he met Helen Palmer, who he wed in 1927. He returned from Europe in 1927, and began working for a magazine called Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at the time, submitting both cartoons and humorous articles for them. Additionally, he was submitting cartoons to Life, Vanity Fair and Liberty. In some of his works, he'd made reference to an insecticide called Flit. These references gained notice, and led to a contract to draw comic ads for Flit. This association lasted 17 years, gained him national exposure, and coined the catchphrase "Quick, Henry, the Flit!"
In 1936 on the way to a vacation in Europe, listening to the rhythm of the ship's engines, he came up with And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which was then promptly rejected by the first 43 publishers he showed it to. Eventually in 1937 a friend published the book for him, and it went on to at least moderate success.
During World War II, Geisel joined the army and was sent to Hollywood. Captain Geisel would write for Frank Capra's Signal Corps Unit (for which he won the Legion of Merit) and do documentaries (he won Oscar's for Hitler Lives and Design for Death). He also created a cartoon called Gerald McBoing-Boing which also won him an Oscar.
In May of 1954, Life published a report concerning illiteracy among school children. The report said, among other things, that children were having trouble to read because their books were boring. This inspired Geisel's publisher, and prompted him to send Geisel a list of 400 words he felt were important, asked him to cut the list to 250 words (the publishers idea of how many words at one time a first grader could absorb), and write a book. Nine months later, Geisel, using 220 of the words given to him published The Cat in the Hat, which went on to instant success.
In 1960 Bennett Cerf bet Geisel $50 that he couldn't write an entire book using only fifty words. The result was Green Eggs and Ham. Cerf never paid the $50 from the bet.
Helen Palmer Geisel died in 1967. Theodor Geisel married Audrey Stone Diamond in 1968. Theodor Seuss Geisel died 24 September 1991.
OK, kids. You say you're weary of reading my review of The 500 Hats of Batholomew Cubbins? Right you are, then. How about its sequel, Bartholomew and the Oobleck? That's a good one too, you say?
OK. Here goes nothing:
Not many of you know that Dr. Seuss was a tired out soldier in WWII, and found a welcome laugh one dreary day when a couple of Belgians started complaining about the nasty weather: "Rain, rain, rain. Can't it do anything else for a change?"
I know. We've all heard that one before.
But back when War was ka-ka, it reminded folks of Home.
But three or four years afterward, demobilized and safely home in America - and with the urge to write a book for his kids - Dr. Seuss invented a fictional king who asks the same question.
Ah, so nice to go back to simple things...
Guess what? God sends Oobleck. And the king is suddenly up crap creek without a paddle.
It sticks like old chewing gum. It gets in people's hair. It gums up all the machinery in the kingdom. The people get really upset with their old king.
So he asks all his advisors what he should do.
Then - at last - in desperation he asks young Bartholomew. And the rest is history....
Fast forward ten more years, to 1958. Scientists are working on getting orbiting satellites into the atmosphere. The more reactionary members of the public take exception to this news, having heard vague rumours, perhaps, of Roswell. And the financial pot of gold called The Blob - a legendary budget B-movie - is born.
The idea was this: what if an extraterrestial Oobleck had animal intelligence?
Well, perish the thought!
So Dr. Seuss was STILL driving our imaginations into convulsions.
You see, once an idea has taken root in our collective memories it wreaks havoc with the more odd-ball news stories we come across, deep within the scary dark recesses of our minds.
Like, who's to say a plane crash at Roswell Air Base was anything but? I guess, government think-tanks widely tell our rulers to capitalize on each dark subconscious terror-stricken rumour.
Like, remember the day Dick Cheney was finally going to spill the beans about those ALIENS? Bet there were plenty of chuckles back then among the movers and shakers!
I needn't go on, need I?
Countless cinematic clones would follow. "Wars and rumours of wars..." Who knows the diff now?
Guess we should all be, like the poor king of Bartholomew's kingdom, once bitten and twice shy. Don't accept any ride that's offered you!
I still haven't read the The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, so I cannot compare this sequel to the aforementioned story. But for this follow-up, the lessons about having a sincere apology and on admitting his fault really makes a big difference. Being contented in life is another great lesson that this children's story book wants to impart to everyone.
It is my personal opinion that there is a Dr Seuss book for every possible situation. I have a hard time keeping them on hand, because I find so many people who need one. I use them as gifts in a hurry, as handy reference guides for all kinds of things, and as greeting cards ( well worth the extra postage, and the inside blank page up front gives you tons of writing space.)
This book is not only my favorite of all favorites in the Dr Seuss collection, it is also my preferred method for making up with a loved one after a very big, very gooey, very green (and not in a earthy way) relationship disaster of the first order. The simple fact is, no matter how sovereign our very grown up brains may be, we still get stupid and hire our guilt and repression magicians to climb up to the mountain lair and call down oobleck on us all. Anybody who thinks Dr Seuss "isn't very realistic," or "just nonsense for kids" will someday find him/her-self sitting up to the royal neck in it, and have to say "I'M Sorry." At such times, a willingness to laugh at oneself through the paintbrush of Dr Seuss can be a lifesaver. I love this book, and I thank my mother who actually bought me a FIRST EDITION copy!!!!!! that I will have to keep, because I can't mail THAT to anybody.
Young Bartholomew Cubbins and King Derwin of Didd return in this amusing follow-up to their initial adventure, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Now a page in the king's castle, Bartholomew is dismayed when the foolish King Derwin decides that snow, sun, rain and fog are boring, and that he wants something new to fall from the sky. Summoning his court magicians, the king commands them to create something new, in the way of weather, and that sinister cabal complies, brewing up a sticky, gooey green substance known as ooblek. Soon everyone in the castle and kingdom is stuck in greenish goo, from the humblest farmer to the king himself, paralyzed on his throne. It falls to Bartholomew to point out the obvious - that this is all the king's fault - and to demand an apology. For mysterious reasons, the simple words "I'm Sorry" have a magic all their own...
First published in 1949, some eleven years after the first story featuring Bartholomew Cubbins and King Derwin, Bartholomew and the Ooblek was Dr. Seuss' seventh picture-book, and it was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 1950. It was a perennial favorite in my childhood home, and many are the nights when I asked for it to be read to me, or read it on my own, once I was able. Something about that gooey, sticky ooblek was fascinating to me, as a girl - striking me as simultaneously frightening and funny. My present reread was prompted by my recently undertaken Dr. Seuss retrospective, in which I plan to read and review all forty-four of his classic picture-books, in chronological publication order. It is a project I began as an act of personal protest against the suppression of six of the author/artist's titles - And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, McElligot's Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, Scrambled Eggs Super!, On Beyond Zebra! and The Cat's Quizzer - by Dr. Seuss Enterprises. See my review of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, to be found HERE, for a fuller exploration of my thoughts on that matter.
In any case, I found Bartholomew and the Ooblek every bit as engaging as I remembered, during this current reread. The story highlights the foolish hubris of King Derwin - also a theme in The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins - who imagines that he can improve upon nature, and have a better form of weather created through artificial means. One could read it as the hubris of humanity, so frequently thinking we can outdo nature, or the hubris of the elite - kings and other leaders imagining it is their right to make such far-reaching decisions by themselves. However one reads it, the consequences of the king's decision demonstrate that such actions have the potential to be immensely destructive, while the conclusion of the story highlights the important role that humility and repentance can play, in restoring harmony to human society, and to the wider world. Learning to admit our mistakes, and to apologize for them, is a difficult lesson sometimes, even for adults, so Dr. Seuss' entertaining little fable, which presents this process in such an amusing way, is most welcome. The accompanying artwork, done in black and white, with a sole color accent - green, for the ooblek - is immensely expressive. The limited color scheme really highlights the outlandish and surprising nature of the ooblek, and brilliantly complements the story. I can easily see why this was awarded a Caldecott Honor, despite the fact that it seems at first glance to be a retreat from Dr. Seuss' more colorful style, first seen in McElligot's Pool. Highly recommended to all picture-book readers, whether they enjoy unusual fairy-tale-style stories, or are fans of the creator.
“Bartholomew and the Oobleck” is the sequel to Dr. Seuss’ timeless classic “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” and is about how King Derwin wanted to create a weather that has never been created and ends up disastrous results. “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” is definitely a classic tale that children will enjoy for many years.
Dr. Seuss’ story is exciting and creative at the same time, especially during the scenes where Bartholomew tries to warn everyone about the oobleck covering the town. Even though the story is not written in Dr. Seuss’ typical rhyming text, the story is still creative enough for kids to enjoy. Dr. Seuss’ illustrations are as creative as ever, especially as the illustrations are mainly in black and white with the exception of the oobleck which is in green which gives true effectiveness to the story making the oobleck a threat to the people in the kingdom.
“Bartholomew and the Oobleck” is definitely one of Dr. Seuss most exciting books ever created and will definitely keep many children interested in this book. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since it might be too long for smaller children to read.
A few weeks ago, I texted to my boyfriend about the wintry mix falling during my walk home from the subway station, and called it "oobleck." He responded with "???" It transpired that despite having been a child and later raising children*, he has somehow managed to avoid all Dr. Seuss books. So naturally I had to read this aloud to him. (During which he fell asleep despite my scintillating read-aloud abilities. Humph.)
As an adult, I'd 3-star this for the rather non sequitur lecture it contains about apologizing for being an idiot. (I'm not opposed to that, but it still felt shoe-horned in somehow, rather than like a natural moral to this story. And it definitely felt like a lecture.)
But I'm 4-starring it, since my child self forgot all about those preachy few sentences, and loved this story enough to have continued using the word oobleck for my entire life. And I did enjoy revisiting Batholomew Cubbins and all those creepy magicians.
------------------------------------------------ * Somehow this book didn't make it onto my godchildren's bookshelves, either, and it seems a little late to remedy that. Oh well.
Pretty good story about a mad king abusing his power and trying to take on the weather. To the king rain, wind, snow and sun are all pretty boring so he gets his creepy magicians to conjure up something new. So they create Oobleck which creates all sorts of problems for the king, turns out there is no hope unless the king takes responsibilities for his actions.
Dr Seuss teaches us in this book that when it's raining green sticky stuff always blame the king.
Not one of our favourite Dr. Seuss books. Now that we're reading chapter books and books with a lot more text - and I'm the Reader - I have become keenly aware of the number of words and rather skeptical as to whether so many were really necessary. I hardly dare say it, but I think perhaps Seuss was at his very best with fewer words. I know. Sacrilege. Squirt confirms my doubts, though. He loves "Green Eggs and Ham", but the Oobleck didn't hold his interest.
I had this book in possession for days but unfortunately I could not read it because this is a sequel and I hate to read any works that are based from one book because I am afraid that I may not enjoy the sequel without knowing the characters and the plot of the previous work that tied the sequel together. I feel that way about anything whether it be book, film, or television.
If you want my honest opinion about this book I could say that felt Meh when reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Dr. Seuss wrote the sequel ten years after the first book and he made this book even longer than the original. It still has black and white illustrations, completely ignores the first book, and because this barely has any rhyme I found the plot boring and tedious. I would have rated this 3 stars but since it is Dr. Seuss, one of his early works, the illustrations, and still an original story I would look the other way and rated this 4 stars.
We meet Bartholomew again and he is recounting a story of how the King almost ruined and destroyed the entire Kingdom. Till this day everyone remembers how the King acted arrogant and wanted to go against Mother Nature. The King is not wearing the 500th Hat of Bartholomew Cubbins which was such a disappointment because he made a big stinky deal that it was one of the most beautiful hats that he has ever witness and yet he is wearing his normal boring crown. At that point I realized that you didn't need to read the original story to understand the sequel since it is a standalone of itself.
During the course of the year, the King is growling towards the sky whether it rains, snows, sunshine, and windy and one day Bartholomew wonders why he keeps growling. Then he discovers that the King has had enough that he cannot control the sky and wishes that something different than the four seasons can appear out of the sky. For Bartholomew, who is the only one with common sense of this book tells the King that while he is a powerful King, he cannot control the sky and that no other king has been able to do what he desires to accomplish. Saying those magic words makes the King hard-headed and on the mission to possess the sky.
He summons his famous magicians and tells them that he wants something different to appear out of the sky and at no cost. The magicians ponder for a second and are excited to announce that they will cast a spell all night long in a dark cave to summon the Oobleck. The King loves the thought of this Oobleck and ask them what exactly is an Oobleck? The magicians say that they can summon the Oobleck but that they obviously have no clue as what is an Oobleck, how they look, and what it does. Bartholomew does not like the idea of this and try to convinces the King but he ignores Bartholomew's warning and tells the magicians to start immediately.
Over the course of the night, the magicians are successful with creating the Oobleck and the terror begins immediately when the sun comes up. Bartholomew at first thought that the magicians had fail but then he notices these green specks falling from the sky and believes terror shall arise for the whole Kingdom. He goes and warns the King but instead the King tells him to sound the Holiday bell and for everyone to celebrate the Oobleck.
When Bartholomew goes to ring the bell, he discovers the Oobleck is this green goo that sticks on everything making it impossible to remove. He tries to find different ways to warn everyone but every thought gets trampled by the Oobleck wrath. When the whole kingdom looks like its falling to despair, Bartholomew tells the King that if he admits that he is wrong and apologizes that it may clear up everything. At first the King refuses because a King never apologizes but in the end gives in and suddenly the spell has fallen and the sun shines through making the Oobleck slippery and easy to remove.
After all is said and done, the King realizes that he was in the wrong and that a holiday should be created as a reminder to be thankful for the four seasons. I seriously felt that this story was way too long and could have been shorter since the ending is predictable. I have a feeling that if I were a child reading this book I would have enjoyed it more and feel panicky for Bartholomew and the Kingdom with the Oobleck situation. Odds are I will not be reading this book for a long because I am definitely not a fan of this book. I am disappointed that I did not enjoy it as much as I wanted it to but nonetheless I have plenty of more Dr. Seuss books to read and enjoy.
An acceptable sequel to the "500 Hats". Young Bartholomew, boy genius, saves the day with a solution for ridding the Kingdom of Did of the nasty green Oobleck. Can't help but believe that the book might have inspired the old horror movie "The Blob" with Steve McQueen.
Another in the Bartholomew Cubbins series revolving around Bartholomew, a page boy in the service of the king.
In 1950, Bartholomew and the Oobleck won the Caldecott Honor.
My Take It's a case of be careful what you wish for as the king is bored, bored, bored. It'll take a disaster for the king to say those simple words. Words that every child, teen, and adult should learn. And learn to speak.
I adored the lovely, soft pencil drawings on every page. And a clever idea for green to be the only color.
It's a quick read with imaginative scenes for the kids (and adults) to envision. I could see playacting some of those sticky ones, pretending to be stuck to all sorts of silly things.
It's also an opportunity for parents to talk about how those simple words can be easily said and what a relief it is on both sides when they are said.
The Story It's easy to get in trouble when you're bored. And King Derwin is definitely bored. Bored with the rain. Bored with the sunshine. Bored with the fog. And bored with the snow.
Being king has its perks, and His Majesty demands something new from the sky.
The Characters Bartholomew Cubbins is the challenging page boy in the Kingdom of Didd.
The Kingdom of Didd is… …where King Derwin rules and has his own royal magicians. The bellringer, the trumpeter, and the Captain of the Guards are all begged to help.
Oobleck is what the magicians conjure.
The Cover and Title The cover has a bright red cover with the title and a huge horizontal oval in white as Bartholomew watches on in horror as a green-covered blob rushes past. The author's name is in black and in the bottom right corner of the oval.
The title is to the point, for it's a race between Bartholomew and the Oobleck.
Dr. Seuss’s Bartholomew and the Oobleck, which was published in 1949 is a classic tale of how the smallest people who may seem like they don’t have the most authority or intelligence, end up saving the day. It gives moral lessons on many subtle things but one especially: realizing your mistakes and apologizing for them. It is about a King who wants something new and fun to fall from the sky, and what he gets is not exactly what the expectation was. I love this book because it taught me the importance of apologizing for my mistakes at a young age. I love Bartholomew’s defiance of the King because I can relate to defying people when they are being ridiculous and they don’t realize it. The plot is also unexpected which is nice, and the style of writing is rhymed and simple. The story itself is short and sweet and down to the point. I would recommend this book to anyone who can read because no matter how old you are, you can always use a reminder on how to be humble and take responsibility. Actually, the older we get the more we need that lesson. It’s a fun read and I recommend it to everyone everywhere!
My niece had heard this Dr. Seuss book before; last year her school did a Dr. Seuss week, and over the course of that week they read so many Dr. Seuss books she actually came to rather loathe his stories. My nephew and I, I though, had never heard of this story.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by this book. It was almost totally devoid of Seussian rhymes (this is not always a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned), and the story itself was well written and interesting. I really enjoyed the characters--they all had a personality, which facilitated creating unique voices for them. It was fun to read!
My nephew really enjoyed the story, and he was eagerly trying to figure out what the king's magicians were going to call down from the sky. He found the story to be entertaining, funny, and exciting. And you know what? Even my Seuss-saturated niece liked Bartholomew and the Oobleck after we read it together. This is a good one!
Bartholomew and the Oobleck is the story of a bored old king who is tired of limited weather options. He orders his magicians to create new and interesting weather, but when they do the results are disastrous.
I didn't know such a lengthy, complete tale by Dr. Seuss existed, to my embarrassment. So when I received this book I thought heavens no, that's much too long and much too black and white - my destructotot will never sit and listen to that. I determined to try anyway, though, with the caveat that I would have to read it in parts over a couple reading sessions.
Shock and delight when my son sat with rapt attention through page after page of simple black and white sketches! He was intrigued by the story once we got past a little misunderstanding: he thought the made up word Oobleck was what he calls "bleque" (tembleque). I love that he thought coconut pudding was falling from the sky!
It's ooblecking tonight in the city . . . In the light of Dr. Seuss Enterprises decision to stop publishing six of his titles, I pulled this one off the shelf for a re-read. Still a winner, I'm happy to say. But here's what gets me: why is it everyone gets in a lather about older books that could just quietly slip onto the publishers' backlist? Why the big announcement? If you really wanted to roll the ball down the field, you'd publish a celebratory article about We Need Diverse Books or Lee and Low, shining a light on all the good work being done these days to diversify children's publishing. Seuss evolved. Let his older works fade into the historic record, don't try to re-write his legacy.
A wonderful story about an arrogant king, introduced in The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, who decides that he wants to rule the sky as well as the land, and brings down horror on his kingdom when his magicians cook up a dangerous, sticky new kind of precipitation. The story ends with Bartholomew, his page-boy, courageously speaking the truth to his foolish king, and the king's repentance brings about freedom for the land.
There are echoes of King David's deadly hubris (2 Samuel 24) in this story of divine retribution. Additionally, Bartholomew's example of speaking truth to power is an excellent one, and for those who wish their children to grow into thoughtful, conscientious citizens, this isn't a bad place to begin.
Batholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss is book of fantasy. It is recommended for kids in 2nd grade and higher. I listened to this book being read on YouTube and it is great. King Derwin is angry with the sky for only having rain, snow, sunshine and fog. Bartholomew works in the Kingdom of Didd for the king and tells him king don't rule the sky. King Derwin asked the magicians to make it happen. Oobleck is nothing like rain, snow, fog or sunshine, it was green and gooey and got all over. The king didn't like that and apologized to Bartholomew, saying "I'm sorry" and it made the Oobleck go away. I think kids of all ages will love this book and it has fun, weird words.
King Derwin of Didd is tired of the same old four things coming down from the sky, so he decides to get his magicians to create something new – Oobleck. However, his page Bartholomew things something is dangerous about it. Is he correct?
One of Dr. Seuss’s older books, it can be long and isn’t told in his typical rhyme. Still shows his creativity, however, and there are some good lessons worked into the story without preaching as well. Fun for older kids and adults looking for a longer picture book.
Sometimes the most magical words of all are "I'm sorry."
Here we see a foolish king with a very wise servant - that no one listens to. Of course. So when the king causes a monstrous disaster, it's up to the small boy to fix everything. Not the first time the device is used (or the last) but done so very well. We see some hints of the later Dr. Seuss rhymes in words the wizards say. And some of the illustrations really remind me of his later works. Overall though, I very much liked this book and the message it gives. Probably one of my favorites from the Caldecott challenge I've given myself.
A Dr. Seuss book that doesn't rhyme! I like it. It's also one of the longer Dr. Seuss stories that is great for older students. And this is one of the three Dr. Seuss books to win a Caldecott Honor. I don't ever remember reading this one when I was young, but I wish I had! This is a very nice story about Bartholomew the page boy who tries to warn the King not to want something new to fall from the sky.
Such a cute story from Dr. Seuss that I didn't know about. My 6 year old loved this book and keeps asking me to read it again. This isn't your typical Green Eggs and Ham type of Dr. Seuss. This is much more of a narrative story with very little rhyming and a lot more meat to the story ( I thought). It's also quite long. I would think this is a great story for older Seuss fans and early readers.
A lost classic. Certainly lost to me, I don't recall ever seeing this one and certainly not reading it. And yet this won a Caldecott Honor. A bit wordier than the later books - but absolutely tells a story and a pretty good one. And includes a King as the bad guy and good manners as the good guy.
I read this lesser-well-known (to me, at least) book by Dr. Seuss aloud & to my surprise, my 12th grader listened! After reading, we enjoyed analyzing what possible meanings there were to the story: global warming? acid rain? greed? the ripple effect our behavior has on those around us? I believe an argument could be made for all these themes, but one rises above the others as being just a bit more powerful: the importance of taking responsibility for actions & saying "I'm sorry."