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Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (Classic Seuss) Hardcover – September 12, 1948

106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

This classic Seuss title stars a happy-looking quadruped from the shores of Lake Winna-Bango who has the most amazing antlers and the kindest disposition. Alas! Everyone, but everyone, takes advantage of his generosity, and before long he has three-quarters of the animal kingdom nesting in the convenient perches atop his head. ("They asked in a fox, who jumped in from the trees, / They asked in some mice and they asked in some fleas.") You might think someone would take pity, but nobody seems to like an oddball, and all Thidwick gets for his trouble is complaints and contempt. Unable to cross the lake when winter threatens, he looks all set to starve--and then things get even worse. He is saved from certain death just in time, swims the lake, and joins the herd again. One reason this Seuss is so good: it has a moral, but the moral isn't pressed too far and the exuberant linguistic fun isn't subservient to it. (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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: Classic Seuss
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 12, 1948)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800868
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.3 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,315 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By James Hutchinson on June 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book 39 years ago at a church sale when I was 6 years old--yes, I used my own money! I loved it then and I love it now. The illustrations are a hoot--seeing one critter after another move into poor Thidwick's horns has always made me laugh. And, I like to think of myself as a nice guy too and a moral fellow, just like poor Thidwick. So, the lesson of seeing people take advantage of one's good nature has served me as I've gone through life. In college I majored in Political Philosophy and I thought of this book then. The lesson for me was--Bad people will use your morality against you while themselves being unaccountable. Bad people will break the law all the time, but if a good person breaks the law...listen to them scream! And of course, poor Thidwick will do anything to keep from breaking the law (in this case the law of hospitality), even starve to death or be shot by trophy hunters, rather than eject his "guests." The law has been distorted and perverted in Thidwick's case. His immoral guests remind Thidwick that if he's to be a good host then Thidwick must cater to their needs. They don't / won't consider Thidwick's needs. The ungrateful guests seem offended that they might have some responsibility for Thidwick's suffering. Years later when I read a book by Ayn Rand, I thought of Thidwick during several passages. But this is most importantly a children's book that children love! My 4 year old son picks this book to have me read it to him regularly. If he didn't like it, what would it matter that his dad likes it so much!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. Barnes on May 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
..I won't write pages retelling the whole book. I just want to tell you that this is my favorite Dr. Seuss book and I have a copy that I received as a gift when I was 7 years old. My copy is over 30 years old and I have taken it in twice to read to my children's classes. My four kids love this book and their classes loved it too. A great book - buy it for your child and I'll bet that they will have the book 30 years from now and will be reading it to their kids!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I remember this book from growing up 30 years ago. The story of a overly gracious moose and how some of his woodland 'friend' take advantage of him. It is classic Seuss with wonderful rhyme and wording. This and McElligot's Pool are now staples for our children's bedtime reading.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. Kaiser on June 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Strange. Apparently the "professional reviewers" didn't get the point. Nor did almost all of the other (generally good) reviewers.

This book is not about an oddball moose. It is not about "bewilderment".

This book is "Atlas Shrugged", by Ayn Rand, in a very short form.

Thidwick, after first believing that being helpful and "good" is the right thing to do, finds out in the end that all the leeches in the world will gladly do nothing as long as someone silly enough gives them what they want.

Then, in a moment of inspiration, just like Hank Reardon, he "shrugs"... and the leeches get their just desserts. Stuffed.

Read it again, and think. And then pick up "Atlas Shrugged".
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Thidwick's adventure begins simply enough. He is marching along on the shores of Lake Winna-Bango, on the far northern shore, looking for moose-moss to eat with 60 other moose. A small Bingle Bug nicely asks Thidwick for a ride "for a way." Thickwick replies, "I'm happy to share!" Most of us would have said the same.
But what happens when a guest overstays her or his welcome? In Thidwick's case, his horns become a veritable zoo of wildlife. There is a Tree-Spider spinning a web, a Zinn-a-zu Bird who gets married and builds a nest, and their uncle the woodpecker who pecks holes the squirrel family inhabits. And so on it goes, to include a bobcat, turtle, fox, mice, fleas, a big bear . . . and 362 bees!
Thidwick is like the horse in Animal Farm. He's providing all of the work and benefit, and everyone is bossing him around. Why, they won't even agree to let him leave with the other moose to find more moose moss. Why is Thidwick willing to put up with this? What are the benefits of having a big heart in this situation?
How does Thidwick end up in this mess? Well, having accepted the Bingle Bug, the subsequent guests ignore Thidwick and ask the earlier guests instead if they can move in. Thidwick honors his first commitment, extends it in time and to the new inhabitants.
As a result of Thidwick's dilemma, this book provides a good opportunity to discuss sharing with your child . . . and explain the benefits and limits of sharing.
Your child will run into people who will try to take advantage. This gives you a chance to ask your child what he or she would do in Thidwick's situation.
The story's resolution is a most original and humorous one that makes good use of the mental picture of shedding your onorous burdens.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book has everything - a good plot, a moral, a surprise at the end and a good range of vocabulary. If you get really involved it also manages to produce a range of emotions too; satisfaction at the nice beginning, growing annoyance at the pests, fear and curiosity about how it can end. It also has a few tricks in the scanning of the rhymes to keep you alert. I love reading this book.
PS My 4 year old likes it too!
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