Yertle's story leads off with his attempt to build a bigger kingdom on the backs of his loyal subjects (literally). King of everything he can see, Yertle orders his turtles to stack up under him to build a towering throne. ("He made each turtle stand on another one's back and he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack.") But a plain little turtle named Mack--stuck at the bottom--decides he's had enough. ("I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down on the bottom we, too, should have rights!")
Following Yertle's downfall, a whiny girl-bird named Gertrude McFuzz wishes she had two feathers, just like Miss Lolla-Lee-Lou: "One droopy-droop feather. That's all that she had. And, oh! That one feather made Gertrude so sad." But even when Gertrude gets her wish--and then some--she finds that vanity has its price. Meanwhile, in "The Big Brag," a proud rabbit and an even-prouder bear duke it out in a battle of the senses, arguing over who's the best of the beasts, only to get their clever comeuppance from a wild-eyed little worm. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.