#FridayReads: THE 500 HATS OF BARTHOLOMEW CUBBINS, by Dr. Seuss

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s turning, this past week, 111 (a number I somehow think he would have liked), today’s #FridayReads features my favorite Seuss book. You might think it’d be DR. SEUSS’S SLEEP BOOK:

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book

….which contains the first passage I ever read by myself, at age 4–about a creature named the Chippendale Mupp, whose tail is so long he bites it before going to bed and 8 hours later, the pain wakes him–a kind of posterior alarm clock.

His tail is so long, he won’t feel any pain,
‘Til the nip makes the trip and gets up to his brain.
In exactly eight hours, The Chippendale Ump
Will, at last, feel the bite and yell, “Ouch!” and wake up.

And indeed, Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book did inspire a lifelong love of naps (very useful tool for a writer).

But my favorite Dr. Seuss book is THE 500 HATS OF BARTHOLOMEW CUBBINS, which my dad read to me on the beaches of Nantucket (and endlessly before bed). It features a boy named, not coincidentally, Bartholomew Cubbins, who lives in the Kingdom of Didd, through which one day there’s a parade led by the king. All subjects are meant to take off their hat before the king, but when Bartholomew tries to remove his, another hat appears!
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins…which enrages the king, who commands young Bartholomew to come to the castle with him so a method of hat-removal can be devised. (There’s a scary and fascinating drawing of an executioner with a mask and axe involved herein.)

But not only do the hats keep appearing, they get fancier and fancier!

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 3.22.46 PM….increasingly laden with feathers, diamonds, and jewels.

I won’t give away the ending, but I believe BARTHOLOMEW endowed me with an appreciation of egalitarianism and democratic process.

And, of course, a lifelong love of fancy hats.

fascinator in tree by Emily Homonoff

What’s YOUR favorite Dr. Seuss book? And what did you learn from it?

* Special thanks to Pam Jenoff for inspiring this post! Please come back next Friday for another #FridayReads. *

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