Horton Hatches the Egg-Book Review

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Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss-From barnesandnoble.com:

Meet Horton the elephant, one of the most commendable heroes in children’s books.
“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. . . .An elephant’s faithful, one hundred per cent!”
Horton is kind and trustworthy, but unfortunately, the lazy bird Mayzie takes advantage of his good nature when she leaves Horton to watch her unhatched egg. Told with Dr. Seuss’s signature rhymes and trademark illustrations, this is a tale that will be enjoyed over and over, by reader and listener alike. And don’t miss another delightful tale about this beloved pachyderm: Horton Hears a Who!

It’s the talk of the jungle when an elephant hatches an egg. Extravagant nonsense and rollicking verse. Full-color illustrations.

Grade (Be sure to read our strong cautions about this book!):

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 3 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

The target audience for this book is elementary aged-children. It’s a great lesson in faithfulness. Horton steps in almost like a foster parent to care for the egg, and he eventually keeps the little bird, even though the mom wants the bird back after he’s gone through 51 weeks of watching over the egg. The bird that hatches is actually part elephant, part bird.

Children who are being parented by someone who is not their biological parent may be able to relate to this book. However, a child may be upset by the bird feeling tied down by sitting on the egg and wanting to be free of the responsibility and go play and vacation. She ends up abandoning the egg and deciding to never go back (until the end when the work is done). This could be very triggering and result in behaviors, especially if the child feels their biological parent did not fight to keep him or her or that they were more interested in other people, partying, or activities than parenting. We caution parents to consider whether their child should read this book or not.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What can we learn from Horton? What positive character traits does he show?
  2. Horton sits through a terrible storm. He almost gets shot by hunters. He sits through the freezing weather. What difficult things does your foster or adoptive parent(s) do to keep you safe?
  3. Horton says several times, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant…” What does that mean?
  4. He also says, “An elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!” What does faithful mean?
  5. What would happen if Horton wasn’t faithful?

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