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Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  32,033 ratings  ·  614 reviews
In this hilarious book, featuring three timeless fables, Dr. Seuss explores the pitfalls of growing too big for your boots!

With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and ranking among
Library Binding, 96 pages
Published April 12th 1958 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,033 ratings  ·  614 reviews

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Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really good titular story!


And the turtles, of course… all turtles are free.

As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be,

It’s said that Yertle the Turtle exemplifies Hitler, and while I have no doubt of that,...

...I think that he could be King Nimrod (from Tower of Babel’s story) as well, but again,...

...I think that Yertle the Turtle exemplifies all tyrants, cruel to their own people; and fools, wanting to be higher than anybody else.

Yertle the Turtle was

I had read many Dr. Seuss books over the years, since I am a huge fan of his work! Now, I had finally come back to one of my childhood favorite stories of all time, “Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories” and I still enjoy it to this very day!

There are a total of three stories in this book which includes “Yertle the Turtle,” “Gertrude McFuzz” and “The Big Brag.”

Yertle the Turtle

In this tale, Yertle the King of all the Turtles, wanted to have a throne where he could see everything from high abo
This was my favorite book when I was a child. I read it over and over again, memorizing every line, and taking in every lesson about vanity that Dr Seuss was teaching. As an adult I found a whole new appreciation for the book, as I learned that the character of Yertle was based on Adolph Hitler. Seuss used Yertle to demonstrate the rise of fascism in Europe, and show is distaste for it. In the final lines of the story Seuss's true intent comes out as he proclaims that all turtles and every creat ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-20th-c, kids
This one probably requires a five year old to fully grasp the lessons about pride that are inherent in the mile-high Yurtle, the far-sighted worm and that silly long-tailed bird. But it is still fun to read and one day will probably help me to explain a lesson…
Ahhhh, Yertle the Turtle, possibly the best book ever written on the subject of turtle stacking.
La Coccinelle
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I must've missed this one in my childhood, because I don't remember it at all. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though, even as an adult.

Even though this book was published decades ago, the themes within the three stories it contains are still fresh and valid. In fact, I think certain politicians should read them (not that it would make much difference; they're as oblivious to their own faults as the rabbit and the bear in "The Big Brag").

The book is almost 100 pages, but it doesn't feel like it. Each
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

I love it when Dr. Seuss gets preachy.

Now, I know my fair share of Dr. Seuss books, but for some reason I'd never heard of Yertle the Turtle until a colleague of mine said I should read it when I teach governments next year.

To that colleague: thanks a lot. I just might do that. In fact, I might do that this year as a little review.

Yertle is the absolute monarch defined. It's his power becoming absolute and corrupting. It's his greed. It's his fall from the top.

He can be ha
Samantha Penrose
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: kids-books
Be kind to others.
Be happy with yourself just the way you are. Dont try to be someone you are not. Dont be greedy.
Be humble.

I just LOVELOVELOVE this one! I cant believe that I dont own a copy!
Oct 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Great stories by Dr. Seuss that are relevant to adults as well as children. The concepts of not making yourself better at the expense of others and the idea that you are not necessarily better than someone else or that you should be happy with who you are are fundamental lessons everyone should take to heart.

Overall, it's an engaging read that really has adult themes while still being appropriate for children. Love, love, love Dr. Seuss! We really enjoyed reading this book together. It's not our
Mohammed Algarawi
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: luna-1st-1-12
This is a children's book. I repeat, a children's book. Again, It. Is. A. Children's book. However, Dr. Seuss embodies Adolf Hitler's invasion of Europe using a turtle and a pond.
And it's poetic too!

Here's a part of an article from Wikipedia about the book:

"Seuss has stated that the titular character Yertle represented Adolf Hitler, with Yertle's despotic rule of the pond and takeover of the surrounding area parallel to Hitler's regime in Germanyand invasion of various
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-to-tristan
***Rated by my son***
Anisha A
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My brother got this book from a book giveaway at his school. It was a very funny and good book.
When it comes to short stories, I am not an expert on how to rate the book because sometimes there are stories that you fall in love with the characters and the plot whereas others feel like nails on the chalkboard. I do not have wide range of favorite short stories so you can imagine I was a bit apprehensive when reading this book especially since this is a children's book. Rest to be sure I really enjoyed this book and it feature real-life animals which isn't typical Dr. Seuss to showcase espe ...more
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book contains three stories:

Yertle the Turtle , a story about a turtle king whose ambitions turn a little too high; Gertrude McFuzz , who is jealous of her friend's tail and gets herself into a mess because of it, and The Big Brag , a story about two animals who argue about who is best, ending with a very wise worm.


The message of these stories is to be content with what you are and have—that you are special the way you are and that there's no need to do silly things or to argue
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this collection of three stories, the theme this time seems to be about ego.

Yertle is a turtle that is the king of all he sees, one day he realises that if he was higher up he would see more and because of that he would rule over more land. so he makes a throne out of turtles and like all good leaders he abuses those at the bottom.

the next story is about some bird with a rubbish tail and who is jealous of another bird who has a pretty tail. so she hatches a plan to get a better tail with
Oct 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Nice collection of short stories from the good Doctor. Each has a little moral, but so entertaining it never feels preachy.

Mortisha Cassavetes
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
What an amazing book. It follows a Turtle King that was written from Hitler but honestly I think this cruel Turtle King could be many people in power. Standing on people regardless of their pains. I highly recommend this book to kids of all ages. In fact, adults could take more from these stories.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
so many great little lessons!
Brenda Kahn
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
We got a jump on Dr. Seuss' birthday in period Kahn today, reading The Lorax and Yertle the Turtle.
Kathy Davie
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, children, fantasy
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories is targeted for older, more fluent young readers.

You know that I do enjoy reading books aimed at readers younger than myself…and every year those numbers keep getting bigger and bigger. Hmmm, I do feel a bit Seuss-y, so perhaps I should say, those numbers are humongouser and humongouser?

Reading Dr. Seuss is actually research on my part, as I have finally set my sights on writing the children's book I've had in mind. And…my sentences need some work. *Stop laugh
Matthew Hunter
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Seuss the revolutionary! Man Yertle the Turtle's some good stuff. I'll let the master tell his own story beginning from the point where Yertle threatens to stack thousands of turtles one on top of the other so that, from atop the stack, he can become king of everything he surveys:
But, as Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And started to order and give the command,
That plain little turtle below in the stack,
That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack,
Decided he’d taken enough. And
Sarah Sammis
Oct 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories has three short stories, one against fascism, one against jealousy and one against bragging. The two my kids enjoy reading most are the first and third, "Yertle the Turtle" and "The Big Brag."

Back when Theodor Geisel was working as a political cartoonist, he drew an anti Hitler cartoon showing a stack of turtles in a V-shape. The caption said "You can't build a substantial V out of turtles!" You can see it reproduced in Dr. Seuss Goes to War by by Richard H. M
Ali Tehrani
Nov 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Lisa Simpson once seriously - but hilariously - said, "And please don't deprive yourselves of wonderful books like ... 'Yertle the Turtle' -- possibly the best book ever written on the subject of turtle stacking." Ever since I saw that episode, years ago, I've wanted to read Yertle the Turtle, not so much for the sake of reading it, but to better appreciate the Simpsons joke. Well, I just read the book, and indeed my appreciation for the joke has increased.

It's a cute story about a turtle, king
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 9th-grade
This book was alright. Of course Dr. Seuss is known for putting political morals inside pretty much all of his books, so I think that it was easier to read because it wasn't completely toned down for young readers. I enjoyed "Yertle the Turtle" out of the other stories because at the end when Yertle the King was no longer king, it showed Mack (the one who kicked the king off his throne) on the rock showing that he may get greedy and make another throne out of helpless turtles. There is a lot bet ...more
I remember reading this one at my grandma's house, and also at my house growing up. I read it over and over. My favorite of the longer Seuss books, and my younger son says that he likes it a lot, too. It has 3 separate stories. Yertle is the king of all that he can see, so he makes other turtles pile up so he can stand on their backs (I read somewhere that this story was Seuss's commentary about Hitler).
Shala Howell
Aug 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Stories are still a bit on the long side for my 4 month old, but she's a trooper and stayed with me until almost the end of the Yertle the Turtle story -- fidgeting only when the story became, in her opinion, two pages too long. This is one we'll definitely pull off the shelf again when she's older.
Erik Graff
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children & their friends
Recommended to Erik by: Mrs. Kimble
Shelves: literature
Yertle the Turtle is a tale of the megalomania of leadership, false consciousness, ensuing class oppression and the revolutionary role of the proletariat told and illustrated by the inspired labor artist, Theodor Seuss Geisel.

God knows, it changed my life!
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really funny.. I loved it..
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gotta love Dr. Seuss
And this one is in rhyme with a moral.
Julia Orendorf
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who else named their D&D character after Mack? No, just me? ...more
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Theodor Seuss Geisel was born 2 March 1904 in Springfield, MA. 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 carto ...more

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