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Horton Hears A Who! Hardcover – August 12, 1954

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Frequently Bought Together

Horton Hears A Who! + The Lorax (Classic Seuss) + The Cat in the Hat
Price for all three: $24.61

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 490L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (August 12, 1954)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800783
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Surely among the most lovable of all Dr. Seuss creations, Horton the Elephant represents kindness, trustworthiness, and perseverance--all wrapped up, thank goodness, in a comical and even absurd package. Horton hears a cry for help from a speck of dust, and spends much of the book trying to protect the infinitesimal creatures who live on it from the derision and trickery of other animals, who think their elephant friend has gone quite nutty. But worse is in store: an eagle carries away the clover in which Horton has placed the life-bearing speck, and "let that small clover drop somewhere inside / of a great patch of clovers a hundred miles wide!" Horton wins in the end, after persuading the "Who's" to make as much noise as possible and prove their existence. This classic is not only fun, but a great way to introduce thoughtful children to essentially philosophical questions. How, after all, are we so sure there aren't invisible civilizations floating by on every mote? (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr


“Dr Seuss ignites a child’s imagination with his mischievous characters and zany verses.”
The Express

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

"A person's a person, no matter how small," Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, would say. "Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted."

Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped millions of kids learn to read.

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, he went to Oxford University, intending to acquire a doctorate in literature. At Oxford, Geisel met Helen Palmer, whom he wed in 1927. Upon his return to America later that year, Geisel published cartoons and humorous articles for Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at that time. His cartoons also appeared in major magazines such as Life, Vanity Fair, and Liberty. Geisel gained national exposure when he won an advertising contract for an insecticide called Flit. He coined the phrase, "Quick, Henry, the Flit!" which became a popular expression.

Geisel published his first children's book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books. While Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#35 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#35 in Books
#35 in Books

Customer Reviews

I needed the book fairly quickly and received it in a timely manner.
Therese B. Wood
This is the main lesson in the book, and a very important one that people of all ages should respect.
Armando N. Roman
Every time I read this book, my kids always beg for me to read it again.
Hilda I. Leal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Laura Haggarty on February 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my six year-old this past Christmas. She has recently fallen in love with Dr. Seuss books, and poetry in general. And this book, along with other Seuss books, gives her great joy. We read it together, out loud, enjoying the scan and ryhme of the words and sentences. And on that level, it's one of her favorites.
But after we read it, we talk about the concepts behind it, how "a person's a person, no matter how small", and how Horton realizes the inherent dignity in all life, regardless of whether or not it fits into our commonly held conceptions. This book allows me to open up discussions on race, and religion, and the external aspects of persons, and how often we judge people (sometimes unfairly) based on how they look, rather than on their actions.
I highly recommend this book for any schoolchild and parent to read together, reveling in the language and fun, and then use as a stepping stone to further discussions about life and personhood.
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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful By "brimming" on December 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Horton Hears A Who was about much much more than Horton's predicament. Written in the early 1950's, this story reflected a new way of thinking for Dr. Seuss as an individual, and ran contrary to the grain of much of the sentiment in the United States at the time.
During the early 1950's the results of the Marshall Plan were still unclear, and Americans, who had just fought a fierce war with Japan and Germany in the decade before, were debating whether or not to continue with our aid, protection and reconstruction programs. The programs were designed to give our defeated foes a chance to rebuild. They were a brave new experiment. An effort to avoid punishing the populous for its bad leadership. Also, for the first time in history, and effort to love your enemy, in the hopes of making them your friend forever.
Many Americans viewed the Germans and Japanese with disdain. They were calling for an end to aid for a variety of reasons, most of which are touched upon in the book.
Despite his racially charged characterizations of the Japanese *during* the war, Dr. Seuss was coming to terms with the fact that the general populations of Germany and Japan were additional victoms of the war - simply leftover pawns in a terrible game.
Seuss wrote this book in an effort to get the word out that, despite differences past and present, we should try to care about one another just the same.
You see:
"the Whos down in Whoville on top of that little speck are people,regardless of race,creed-or size!"
Dr. Seuss was compelled by the helplessness of these devestated nations, and was issuing an appeal for everyone to start looking at nations as a collection of real people, rather than as a monolithic "other".
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Fleisig on September 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am blessed to own many beautiful books for kids but if I had to get rid of all but one, this is the book I would keep. Its message: "A person's a person no matter how small" is everything you really need to teach the children in your life. I have shared it with four years olds, 12 year olds and adults. It's incredible.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joel Maners on August 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Horton may not be the 67th book of the Bible but it should be. This is a classic story of self- sacrifice and the value of each person. This book instills self esteem in children and fosters caring and concern for others. On top of that, it's just plain fun to read. "Because after all, a person is a person no matter how small."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I suspect that even people who don't know a word of English might enjoy Dr. Seuss's galloping rhythms, precise rhymes, and intricate illustrations of creatures and objects that couldn't possibly exist outside the wonderful, whimsical Seussian universe. But in Horton Hears a Who, the good doctor uses his inimitable talents not only to amuse but to weave a morality tale of surprising profundity. Although Horton is the largest creature in the Jungle of Nool, he alone is sensitive to the needs of the very smallest and most helpless. "A person's a person no matter how small" is a refrain that has rung true with several generations of young readers, and it is a credo that is no less valid today than it was half a century ago. Although Horton is referring to the tiny inhabitants of Whoville, young readers know intuitively that the author is really speaking about them. That children both need and deserve the respect and protection of their elders is a point that is all too rarely made in children's literature. Come to think of it, don't all of need to be reassured once in a while that compassionate spirits like Horton can be counted upon to come forward in times of crisis to protect us from the likes of the gleefully ignorant Wickersham Brothers and the mean-spirited Vlad Vlad-i-koff?
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Format: Hardcover
Horton Hears A Who! is probably my very favorite book by Dr. Seuss. Many reviewers point out that this is one book by Dr. Seuss that can be read and interpreted on more than one level--and that's quite grand. Children are encouraged to think philosophically about life and people who are not as well off as they may be. For younger children, though, this book still remains an interesting read on a more concrete, literal level; both groups of children are bound to benefit from reading this book. In addition, this book will also introduce vocabulary to young children and help them perfect their reading skills. Great!

The action starts when a rather kind and sensitive elephant named Horton is taking a bath in the jungle where he lives. Soon he hears a faint sound and he discovers the sound comes from a tiny group of people living on nothing much wider than a dust puff or (at most) a clover. They tell Horton that they need his help to protect themselves. When the kangaroo and the other creatures of the jungle find out that Horton thinks he's communicating with a dust puff, they ridicule him and refuse to even consider the possibility that Horton could be right. They eventually enlist the eagle to get rid of the dust puff.

Of course, from here the plot could go anywhere. Will Horton find the dust puff and be able to help the people of this tiny civilization get a better quality of life for themselves? Will the eagle throw the dust puff so far away that Horton can never find it again? Read the book and find out!

The illustrations are terrific and the prose is very well written with a lot of rhyming so typical of a Dr. Seuss book.
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