Horton Hatches the Egg

by Dr. Seuss

Hardcover, 1940



Call number



Random House Books for Young Readers (1940), Edition: Illustrated, 64 pages


When a lazy bird hatching an egg wants a vacation, she asks Horton, the elephant, to sit on her egg--which he does through all sorts of hazards until he is rewarded for doing what he said he would.

User reviews

LibraryThing member CassieM
Horton the Elephant helps Mayzie the lazy bird keep her egg warm so she can go off on a trip. Little does Horton know that she is not planning on coming back. He takes care of the little egg through all kinds of trouble. Bad weather, hunters, and even being shipped off to the circus can not keep
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Horton from keeping his promise to take care of the little egg. This book teaches children and adults a valuable lesson. If you are faithful 100% like Horton the Elephant then happiness and success are not that far away.
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LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Mayzie the bird just wants some time off from sitting on her nest when she spies Horton the elephant walking along and manages to persuade him into sitting on her egg for her. Once off on vacation, however, Mayzie decides she doesn't want to go back to her cramped conditions. Meanwhile, Horton
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weathers (literally and figuratively) through his egg-sitting chore through the seasons, despite jests and threats of harm, reminding himself and others that an elephant is always 100 percent faithful.

This is one of Dr. Seuss's earliest books for children and already evidence is there of all the Seuss characteristics to come. His prose is not quite as silly as some later books (i.e., nonsense words aren't really a thing in this title), but his rapid-paced rhyming schemes with repeating refrains are utilized in this book. His distinct style of illustration, with animals that are more Seussical than realistic, is also already on display. I really enjoyed how the illustrations made use of a limited palette (grays, reds, and a turquoise color) and yet they are still entirely engaging.

Without being overwhelming, this book presents a message about the virtues of certain character traits like responsibility, perseverance, trustworthiness, and endurance. These are great ideals for young children to be exposed to, even if it's a more subconscious way than not. Still, this book could open up conversations with little ones about why it's so important that Horton has these characteristics (and why it's equally important for they themselves to become people of character).

Meanwhile, the story takes so many twists and turns that young readers/listeners are completely captivated throughout its telling. While it's not my favorite Dr. Seuss book of all time (probably in part because I didn't read this one as a kid myself), it's still a good book to share with the young ones in your life.
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LibraryThing member missmath144
Mother bird deserts her nest, so Horton stays faithful and sits on the egg. Once it hatches, mother bird wants it back, but out of the egg comes and elephant-bird. Read with FLAP YOUR WINGS.
LibraryThing member wendyfincher
Children will love this book. It has lots of rhymes and is a very funny story. A elephant named Horton gets talked into setting on an egg by a lazy bird. She convinced him that she needed a break. Horton did not know she was going to abandon the egg. Horton sits for a very long time and faces many
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hardships and fears. But he never breaks his promise and was faithful one hundred percent. Everyone was surprised when the egg hatched and it was an elephant-bird. Horton goes home happy one hundred percent.
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LibraryThing member alprince
This book was about Horton, an elephant, who is asked to sit on an egg while the momma bird goes away for a short time. Horton, being a good friend, sits on the egg and the bird never shows back up, so Horton just keeps sitting. Horton made a promise to the momma bird that he would sit on her egg
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and so he will not let her down. About the time the egg begins to hatch, the momma bird returns to claim the egg and Horton will not let her have it. The little baby that comes out of the egg looks like Horton. This is a good book for children who need to make friends or feel like they do not fit in.
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LibraryThing member aezeek
"Horton Hatches the Egg" by Dr. Seuss is a comical story that also teaches a valued lesson. A bird named Mayzie is tired and bored from sitting on her unhatched egg, so she asks Horton the elephant to sit on her egg for a short amount of time while she takes a quick break. Little does Horton know
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that Mayzie decided that she will not return to her egg, be lazy, and continure her vacation forever. Horton gets hauled off to a circus when humans come across him sitting on top of an egg in a tree. Mayzie comes across Horton at the circus, wants her egg back, and throws a fit. The egg hatches and it just so happens to be an elephant-bird! Horton gets to keep the baby because he was the loyal one who sat on the egg the whole time.
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LibraryThing member hgcslibrary
Horton patiently sits on an egg for the lazy bird, Mayzie, and is rewarded in an unexpected way.
LibraryThing member Kace
This is without a doubt my favorite Dr. Suess. I remember having it read to me, then reading it myself, and now sitting down with my children to share it with them. Horton's good people ;)
LibraryThing member lmaddux
Great for younger readers. Dr Sues makes it fun for everyone with the fun pictures and poetry
LibraryThing member JHamm
This is an imaginative book about dedication to something. When you tell someone that you will take care of something for them it is important that you follow through with what you said. It teaches if you devote yourself to something in life then you will receive big reward.
LibraryThing member Stockel
Pre k to 1st Grade
Horton is a faithful friend who always keeps his word.
There is a rhyming line that the children will remember for a long time.
It is good to use during a Dr. Sesuss unit.
LibraryThing member sharon_c
This is a great story of Horton, the elephant, who endures all sorts of hardships because he will not go back on a promise he made to an unreliable bird, to sit on her egg until she comes back. You can't help but fall in love with Horton, and the rhythm of the story Dr. Seuss creates.
LibraryThing member Scott_Nilson
I enjoy this book for it's underlying theme of dependability. Children will learn that when you say you'll do something, you should follow through with your promise.

Its about keeping your word or staying consistent. Consistency is especially important to young children because they are developing
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the ability to know who and what they can trust.

This book is good for pre-k to 3rd grade and probably even into higher grades if the students have yet to develop a strong sense of integrity.
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LibraryThing member lacykay9300
Horton gets talking into egg sitting while his bird friends takes a brake. He didn’t know that she wasn’t ever going to come back. He never leaves the eggs side. All of Horton’s friends tease him and give him a hard time about it. They say a lot of rude things to him. In the end he gets a
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great reward. The egg hatches.
This book is great just like all of the rest of Dr .suess books. I like it. It deals with friend ship, keeping your word, responsibility and the pictures are funny.
You could use this book on a lesson about friendship. Have them all think of a time when they did a friend a favor.
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LibraryThing member SKugle
This story is about the popular character Horton the elephant who has a new adventure. He helps a bird by sitting on her egg for her. He is loyal to the bird by remaining with the egg. When the bird returns she tries to claim that Horton stole the egg but he knows better so when the egg hatches it
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is an elephant-bird. This story teaches that being loyal has its benefits and even when you feel discouraged you should always remain loyal to others. It is a great teaching tool to show children about loyalty and how it is great to be a good friend even when your friends may not remember to be a good friend in return.
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LibraryThing member jessiebarry
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss is about an elephant who helps out a bird by sitting on her egg. He remains loyal to the egg and the bird, sitting on the egg through all sorts of problems. When the bird comes back to get her egg, she accuses him of stealing it. This book is good for teaching
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loyalty, friendship, dependability, and perseverance.
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LibraryThing member KateSanders
Hortan Hatches the Egg is charming and captivating! It is about an elephant who sits on an egg for a bird who needs a vacation. While on vacation, however, the bird decides that she is NEVER going back to her egg. Horton sits on the egg for 51 weeks through horrible weather, mean friends, and even
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being transported to the circus over mountains and sea! But he is faithful the whole way through and when the egg finally hatches, the bird wants it back! This part is heart wrenching for the reader. Dr. Seuss does a great job of getting the reader to feel for Horton and worry about him, be sad for him, and root for him.
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LibraryThing member burnit99
Had the pleasure of finding a treasure trove of old Dr. Seuss books in great condition at an estate sale. "Horton Hatches the Egg" is a surprisingly mature and suspenseful tale of the ever-faithful Horton, who is talked into sitting on the lazy Mayzie bird's egg while she takes a break, and decides
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to extend it indefinitely. The one-hundred percent faithful Horton stands his post through all manner of weather, embarrassment and danger. I'd forgotten how good some of Dr. Seuss' books were. I don't remember reading this as a child, but if I did, it would have totally enthralled me.
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LibraryThing member grapeapril75
Fantastic book for kids! So imaginative and creative. Easy read that children will find delightful!

Dr. Seuss is always brilliant! His stories and rhymes are fun and entertaining! Some of my all time favorites!! Such a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading!
LibraryThing member Kathryn_Brown
A cute children's book with a happy ending.

Why must people criticize a children's book with a lazy mother?
If you don't like the book go find another!
LibraryThing member heathergoodman
"Horton Hatches the Egg", written by Dr. Seuss, is a wonderful book that uses a humorous, over the top story line to teach readers very valuable lessons. The lessons I found in this book were staying trustworthy and true to your word even if the other person is not doing the same, and having
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perseverance, especially when things are difficult, will pay off in the end. To convey these lessons, Dr. Seuss uses literary tools such as rhyming, repetition, text style, and plot. This story is about an elephant named Horton. When Horton is asked to sit on Mayzie’s bird nest while she goes on a “short” vacation, he agrees. Throughout the story, Horton is faced with various difficulties, but never stops protecting the bird nest.
Throughout the story, Horton is perched on top of the bird nest, determined to protect the baby bird until Mayzie returns from her “short” vacation. Shortly after the story begins, Horton realizes that Mayzie probably isn’t coming back, but he never leaves his post on top of the tree. Dr. Seuss uses repetition throughout the story to emphasize Horton’s perseverance to protect the bird and remain trustworthy. For example, when Horton is faced with a difficult situation, such as his friends teasing him for being in a tree, or hunter’s taking him overseas to sell him to a curious, Horton always replies with the same quote. The quote, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant…an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!” which is repeated by Horton, gives the reader a sense of Horton’s character. This repetition emphasizes Horton’s perseverance to keep faithful to his word and remain trustworthy even though he knows Mayzie is not doing the same.
Along with the use of repetition, the author engages the reader by using rhyme throughout the story. On each page, the text and dialogue is written in a rhyming format that makes this book easy to read and gives it a nice pace and form. Within this rhyming structure, Dr. Seuss uses different text styles to emphasize different parts of the story, which also contribute to the flow of the book. For example, when Horton’s egg is finally hatched, the text reads, “They looked! And they stared with their eyes popping out! Then they cheered and they cheered(italics) and they CHEERED more and more. They’d never seen anything like it before(italics)! ‘My goodness! My gracious(italics)!’ they shouted. ‘MY WORD! It’s something brand new(italics)! IT’S AN ELEPHANT-BIRD!!’” The author’s use of text styles such as capitalization and italics emphasizes the story, allowing the reader to be fully engaged. These literary elements directly correlate to the author’s message that one should stay trustworthy and true to their word and that perseverance will pay off in the end.
Horton’s character endures terrible weather, teasing from his friends, a treacherous journey overseas, and much more in order to keep his word and the baby bird safe. For fifty-one weeks, Horton never left the bird nest, while Mayzie was off in Palm Beach being lazy and turning back on her word to return to Horton shortly. When Horton is in the circus and arrives in a city near Mayzie, the bird begins to hatch. At that moment, the author creates conflict by Mayzie wanting to have her baby bird even though she abandoned it and never planned to return. Although she had done none of the work to care for the bird, Horton obliges and returns the egg. At this point, the author uses Horton’s mood to cause the reader to sympathize with Horton. For example, when Mayzie yells that the egg belongs to her, the text shows Horton’s disappointment through the quote, “Poor Horton backed down with a sad, heavy heart…” When the reader begins to sympathize with Horton’s character and feels that the egg should be his, the author quickly twists the story! After all of Horton’s hard work and perseverance, the author creates a happy ending through literary elements. For example, in the quote, “For the egg that he’d sat on so long and so well, Horton the Elephant saw something whizz(italics)! IT HAD EARS AND A TAIL AND A TRUNK JUST LIKE HIS,” the author uses text elements to emphasize the joy and excitement that Horton feels while conveying the message that perseverance, especially when things are difficult, pays of in the end. Horton and his baby bird are sent back to home, “Happy, one hundred percent!”
The literary elements such as repetition, text style, rhyming, and plot bring Horton’s story to life in an over the top adventure that is easy to read and follow along with. Through Horton’s journey, the author provides the reader with two very essential lessons. First, one should always be trustworthy and true to his/her word even when someone else isn’t. Also, that perseverance, especially through difficult times, will pay off in the end. Overall, I believe this is a fantastic story that I have loved since childhood and that teaches the reader two extremely important lessons.

**Quotes from the book that are meant to be italicized are indicated by (italics) after the quote.
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LibraryThing member engpunk77
About responsibility and perhaps adoption, taking care of the children in our community who have less-than-dedicated parents.
LibraryThing member lissabeth21
Nature vs. Nurture - splendid
LibraryThing member gakers16
A lazy bird, Mayzie, tricks Horton the elephant into watching over her egg as she takes a "short vacation." Little does Horton know, Mayzie has no intentions of returning to her egg. After fifty-two weeks of humiliation and perseverance for Horton, the egg hatches to give Horton a delightful
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LibraryThing member ksmole1
This book follows Horton the elephant as he works to do a favor for a bird named Mayzie by sitting on her egg in her nest and watching it. Horton goes through a long series of events as he watches the egg which would be great to teach children sequencing. As the story goes on there are also many
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different settings which would work not only to teach this concept to children but to also teach compare and contrast. Compare and contrast could also be used with the many different characters in the books and the traits they possess. The book is also all rhyming words too which makes it a fun shared reading for anyone! As far as family goes the book shows the true dedication that Horton has to put into caring for a baby. It shows that animals care for their children just like people do. I would use this book for students in first through fifth grade.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

11.31 inches



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