Ten Apples Up On Top!

by Dr. Seuss

Other authorsRoy McKie (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1961



Local notes

R Seu




Random House Books for Young Readers (1961), 72 pages


A lion, a dog, and a tiger balance apples on their heads.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

9.31 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member conuly
Gosh I love this book!

Three animals compete in the first half of the book to see who can have the most apples on top of their head. During the second half of the book, they escape an angry mob, happily collide with an apple truck, and end up giving the entire town ten apples on their heads as well.
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(What fun! Ten apples up on top! We are not going to let them drop!)

This is a good book both for early readers, and for young children learning to talk. Very simple, rhyming vocabulary, of the sort with intuitive spellings (so much of English orthography is a mess...!)

Please note that I do not recommend the board book version at all. They cut out the entire second half of the book, as well as good parts of the first half. In addition, the board book is poorly constructed. Just wait and get the real version instead.
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LibraryThing member Macylynn
This is a Dr. Suess beginner book that is all about counting. The animals start with one apple on their head and then compete to end up having ten on their heads each. The other animals then chase them to get them down but in the end they all have ten up on top. This is also a rhyming book
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and is very simple for younger kids to understand.
Personal Reaction-
This book was one of my favorites when I was younger and I think it is a great book to start out with when children begin to count. This will teach rhyming words, counting, and even sharing. I still love this book and it is fun to read to little ones!
Classroom Extension-
1. This can definately be used in a 3 year old setting and younger! The teacher can use this fun rhyming book to teach children to remember their first ten numbers.
2. This book can also be taught in a pre-k setting using rhyming words. The teacher can point out rhyming words and write them on a board as they go along, and they can review them when the book is finished.
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LibraryThing member tallindian2007
This book is about three friends who are competing with each other. They have to find ways to not only compete with others, but they have to navigate around the obstacle of others. Many who see that they are competing with and at the end they solve the problem at the end by sharing their skills
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with all in an accident.
This is a great book for those who are learning how to count. This book is great for 1- 3rd grade This book counts to a certain number for a long period of time and emphasizes a number and an activity for the student to "grasp" a hold of mentally. It uses a lot of simple words and uses great illustrations.
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LibraryThing member PigOfHappiness
Animals compete to see who can balance the most apples on their head. The story is both funny and engaging. Lively illustrations accompany the text. Appropriate for all ages...
LibraryThing member tamilarson
Animals are competeing to see who can balance the most apples on their head. Then the rest of the town wants to knock their apples down.
LibraryThing member aswideman
This book shows students if they want to do something and if they put their mind to it they can do it. They can do anything they allow themselves to do.
LibraryThing member katiejanelewis
As usual, Dr. Seuss delivers an entertaining and unusual book that encourages reading growth. In this book, one animal begins to pile apples on top of his head and then engages in some friendly competition, as two other animals try to out-do his apple stack. The three meet a testy neighbor who is
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tired of hearing about the apples, but then finds himself enjoying the apple counting and stacking as well. This book is ideal for pre-readers (kindergarten, even early first grade).
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LibraryThing member Molly2Faith
This book was about a lion, tiger, and dog competing to see who can put more apples on top of their head while jumping, dancing, running etc. A few other animals come along and try to get them to drop their apples. This book is great for pretend reading for those who are just learning to read.
LibraryThing member nzfj
Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss (Theo.LeSieg) and illustrated by Roy Mckie is intended for a 2-5+ year old child. This edition is very comfortable to hold and easy to carry (6’’x4’’). It is easy to wipe off and a great board book for ones collection. The illustrator uses a cartoon art
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style with a strong hint of expressionism that clearly gives an encouraging tone “lets count” and play outside, in trees, up high, and inside near our snacks…the refrig…the kitchen…
The front cover is bright cerulean blue contrasted as background behind red bright apples marked around in black, sitting in a true green tree also, outlined in velvet black. This tree is the start of a mornings play. Welcoming lion, determined dog, and sneaky tiger, look to balance apples one, two , three upon their heads. The fourth spread has a stunning white background and the diagonal tree curving across the page. This curving tree adds hopping and running movement along the page. The over achieving dog jumps rope, with balanced apples on his head, quickly along the tree. A wistful and expectant tone reaches us through the illustration and through the text, placed like an anchor at the bottom of the page, keeping a balanced but moving composition. The last spread with sea green background and only the 3 animals lined up with apples lined up atop their heads matches the opposite page with text. Each word balances atop the next and gives the conclusion a balanced approval. This is a great auditory and a memorable Dr. Seuss jingle for readers and listeners to interact and respond as counting is cool and fun.
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LibraryThing member rwetherell
Three friends competitively are trying to see who can balance the most apples on their heads, starting with 1and until they get all the way up to 10 where they begin to get in trouble with all sorts of characters all while still trying to balance all 10 apples, until they crash into an apple cart
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are there are enough apples for everyone.
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LibraryThing member ababe92
This is probably the book that i read the most times when i was young. I extremely enjoyed this book when i was young because it was fun to read and it taught me math at the same time. When i become a teacher i will use this book to also teach my students math and to get them excited about reading.
LibraryThing member laurenwhite92
I like the fact that the element of counting was mixed in with a story line that made this book fun and engaging. The challenge of keeping the apples on top was fun as well.
LibraryThing member Caitlin_Rinner
This book is a fabulous way for children to have fun while counting! As I read this book to my students, they were counting and laughing just as much! It is colorfully illustrated and a fun-sized book for children.
LibraryThing member rjmcwhorter1
Another good book for a young crowd. This book serves as a good math lesson, along with cute illustrations and story lines.
LibraryThing member kostonkarr
A lion, a dog, and a tiger are having a contest--can they get ten apples piled up on top of their heads? This presents the opportunity to teach children another view of counting using objects they understand and are familiar with.
LibraryThing member nmhale
While the story is silly, and a bit absurd, the charm of the narration and the characters and the illustrations is abundant. In fact, the silliness only adds to the appeal. Three animals - a lion, a tiger, and a dog - become competitive with each other over how many apples they can balance on their
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head. Eventually, they bond over their strange skill, only to then be pursued by some angry bears and birds who want to knock all the apples down. Will they ever be allowed to enjoy balancing apples on their head in peace?

Dr. Seuss was a genius at writing delightfully absurd scenarios that somehow touch at our human core, and this book is no exception. Balancing apples on one's head is unusual, but competitiveness is not. The way the trio eventually bond is endearing, and sometimes can be an outcome of friendly competitions, indeed, is the best possible outcome. Also, the theme of accepting differences in others, which is a key motif in much of LeSieg's books, is mildly handled here. The bears and the birds are preternaturally angry at the apple balancers, but as soon as everyone has an apple on their head, they are happy. This seems to suggest that they dislike them because of the difference, but once they try it themselves, they realize that it's not bad to be different, but wonderful.

All of these ideas will be subconscious for the young reader. What stands out to them is the fun factor. The illustrations are comic, with an endearing tiger and dog and lion performing zany antics, like jumping rope or skating while the apples teeter on their heads. Also, the angry bears and birds provide fun comic relief. Nonetheless, the main draw of the book is the writing, because LeSieg, later known as Seuss, is the master of comic poetry, and while the story here isn't as fine as some of his later books, the rhythm and
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LibraryThing member Mmarcel2011
Some animals are trying to carry ten apples on their head but can not do it. This book includes many cvc words for children to practice reading. This is also a really fun book for children because it is a simple read with small words.
LibraryThing member Lukesilvera
Great for teaching rhyming, also introducing counting to lower grades.
LibraryThing member DJRyskie
This story is one about friends trying to compete with each other and end up being chased by other people on account of their competitive nature affecting other people. This story is very easy to read and is useful for beginning readers on account of the repetitive nature of the story. The ending
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where everybody gets ten apples on their head is also very useful for trying to show that you do not need to be jealous about what other people can do; you can just join in and have fun with them.
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LibraryThing member KMClark
This rhyming book makes counting fun as three animals strive to collect ten apples...on their head! However, there are obstacles in their way as they struggle to keep the counting going.
LibraryThing member pussreboots
Although I was a huge Dr. Seuss fan as a child, I missed Ten Apples Up on Top until my son started reading it. I probably missed it because he originally published it under his Theo LeSieg pseudonym. My son first discovered the edited board book version and the graduated to the full version in
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first grade. He in turn read it to his sister so now both children love it.

Ten Apples Up on Top is the story of three rollerskating friends, a lion, a dog and a tiger and their competition to see who can balance to most apples up on top. As they add more apples their rollerskating adventures become sillier and more extreme, highlighting the absurdity of balancing apples on one's head.

What I love abut Ten Apples Up on Top is that it's fun to read aloud but easy enough for early readers to handle by themselves. That means we can either join together on the couch for family story time or Sean or Harriet can read the book to themselves. Sometimes they even read it to me.
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LibraryThing member ahanch1
Like many Dr. Seuss book, this is a very beneficial book for young readers learning how to read. I really like how Theo. LeSeig incorporates rhyming into this book. Each page has a different rhyme. The book cover also says "75 word vocabulary". While researching Dr. Seuss, I've learned that he
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always added vocabulary words that many other children's books did not include at the time. These two aspects of this book really pushed myself to have a positive opinion about it. The central message of this book is rhyming.

Summary: In this book, three different animals decide to play a game that includes balancing apples on their heads. They turn it into a competition by seeing who can balance the most apples at one time. They keep adding apples to the top of their heads in order to win the competition. However, things take a turn for the worse when they run into a truck carrying a bunch of apples. After they crash with the truck, everyone around them is now balancing apples on their heads!
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LibraryThing member ycinto1

This book is about animals that compete to see who can balance more apples on their head. They are having lots of fun until they make a bear mad and it chafes after them , eventually they crash into an apple truck and then they all have ten apples on their heads. They decide that everyone
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is really good at counting and balancing apples on their head and have fun together.


This a fun short book. It is a nice counting book and also uses rhyming poetry. The poetry is really fun and entertaining. The illustrations are funny. Over all a nice introductory counting book.
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LibraryThing member mwade4
Summary: The animals start competing with one another to see who can hold the most apples on their head. While holding apples on their head they are doing other household tasks as well. As the book continues on more and more characters begin holding apples on their heads. A bear began chasing them
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with a broom later on so all of the animals ran away from the bear. All of a sudden though all of the apples in a cart in the field erupted out of the cart. By the end all of the characters had 10 apples balanced perfectly on their head.

Evaluation/ Argument: I have always loved this book ever since I was a child! I just loved the characters and their silly game with these apples. It seemed like everything was a competition with the animals and I was always involved in competitions as a child as well. The words in the text have a bit of a rhyme to them which really helps the text flow together nicely. This make it easier to read as well. Children will love to see the different things that the animals do with the apples on their heads as well.
The central message of this text is to embrace what you can do as well as others. competition does not have to be everything rather you should embrace the abilities of everyone. A lot of people share the same talents and are able to perform the same tasks as others. We should be able to recognize the things that we all can do together.
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LibraryThing member zahammou
What a great way to incorporate different elements of literature one book; counting (addition), rhyming, poetry, characters,imagination, friendly competition and so much more. There is a lot to learn from any Dr. Seuss book, ad the images of these animals playing together, along with the similar
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sounding words to help with sound recognition.
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½ (312 ratings; 4)
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