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The King's Stilts (Classic Seuss) Hardcover – October 12, 1939

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in full color. Every afternoon King Birtram raced around the palace on a pair of old red stilts, until they were stolen. An uproarious tale.  

From the Back Cover

A Chunky Book® with an added surprise--a punch-out piece to play w

Everyone loves Dr. Seuss! A true original, he wrote and illustrated over 50

classic children's books with total sales of more than 100 million copies. For

children of all ages.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Series: Classic Seuss
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 12, 1939)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800820
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 

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#14 in Books
#14 in Books

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Theodore Seuss Geisel, using his famous pen name of Dr. Seuss, wrote and illustrated his first children's book, "And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street," in 1937. Two years later he wrote "The King's Stilts." Even at this early point in his career Dr. Seuss was able to emphasize the idea that reading could be fun without have to be moralistic and that it was important that the illustrations actually had a close relationship with the text of the story. Geisel once declared: "I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities." Certainly "The King's Stilts" evidences that point.

The story begins with the point that King Birtram on the Kingdom of Binn NEVER wore his stilts during business hours and that he worked very hard, continuing to sign important papers of state even while he was taking a bath. However, the king's most important job was caring for the mighty Dike Trees that protected the people of Binn from the sea. Their heavy, knotted roots held back the water. However, those roots were also very tasty to Nizzards, a kind of giant blackbird with a sharp and pointed beak. If the Nizzards were to eat the roots of the Dike Trees then the roots would soon give way, the sea would pour in, and every last soul in the Kingdom of Binn would drown. But King Birtram did not allow this to happen and by gathering together a thousand of the largest and smartest cats in the world to function as Patrol Cats (wearing badges that say "P.C."). These cats were so important that the Cat Kitchen was bigger than that of the King and even had the best cooks in the land.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Many young people are unsure about the proper balance between work and fun. As a result, they tend to overemphasize one or the other. Dr. Seuss has created a wonderful book here to relieve youngsters of the sense that they should work hard all of the time.
This is an early book by Dr. Seuss, and it is written in prose rather than rhyme. Despite this, the prose often has a definite meter, and he sneaks in rhyming words now and again.
The illustrations are predominately in black and white, but splashes of red are used for emphasis to good effect.
The story is quite funny. The king's passion is to run around the kingdom on his red stilts. But he never does so until after putting in a full twelve hours of grueling work.
Never was there a harder working king than Birtram. He even signs papers while taking a bath at five in the morning!
He feels very responsible, because he kingdom is threatened by natural disaster if he lets down his guard.
Who could begrudge such a fine king his fun? Well, there is one who does. Where could that lead?
I also found the book very good for introducing the concept of how we all rely on one another for our well-being. For example, this story can also help a parent explain the need to go to work, despite a sincere desire to stay and play with her or his child.
I think the book is good, too, for helping children think about what kind of work they might want to do when they are older. What benefit would they like others to receive from their work? How hard would they like to work? What difficulties would be bearable, and which would be too much?
After you finish enjoying this book, I suggest that you and your child spend time planning how you can have more fun playing together, and still meet your responsibilities.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By James Paris on August 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is more of a personal note than a review, but it serves to show how a children's book can resonate through an entire lifetime.

My first encounter with THE KING'S STILTS was hearing my mother translate each sentence into Hungarian for me. I was less than five years old, and lying in my crib. As she turned each page, she leaned the book toward me and showed me the picture. I remembered those pictures, and that fragile world under sea level -- a world constantly under threat of annihilation by wicked black birds who attacked the trees on the levee which were protected only by cats.

The place was Cleveland in the then Hungarian neighborhood around Buckeye Road. Because everyone around us was Magyar, my parents never taught me English until I got sent home from kindergarten with a note pinned to my shirt: "What language is this child speaking?" Needless to say, Mrs Idell was not one of my countrywomen.

Throughout my life, I was always impressed with levees, as when I read William Faulkner's story "Old Man" and John McPhee's essay on keeping the banks of the Mississippi in place in THE CONTROL OF NATURE. One day, I had a madeleine-like damburst of memory: I saw the book almost entire in my mind's eye and used a search engine to reveal the title. Reader, I bought the book; and it was exactly as I remembered.

I have read it several times since and love it for the reason that it stuck in my memory for more than 55 years. Of course, it's a rollicking good story, too, with an excellent moral: Never give up the things you love.
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