Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
by Dr. Seuss

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins Theme of Principles

Here's the thing about principles: sometimes, you've just got to stick to them. Here's the other thing about principles: sometimes, sticking to them can be difficult. Case in point: Bartholomew Cubbins in The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. He tries to follow the rules of the Kingdom by removing his hat, and it's not his fault he was having a bad hat day. But just because he's not to blame, doesn't mean he won't stick to his principles and follow the orders given to him. He even marches to his own execution.

Then there's Wilfred. Wilfred isn't following the King's orders because of his principles. He wants to punish Bartholomew because Bartholomew made an off-handed comment about his tiny bow. Oh, we forgot to tell you the last thing about principles: sometimes, just sometimes, they work out for you in the end. Case in point: Bartholomew Cubbins.

Questions and Answers

Questions the little ones might ask and how you might respond

Q: Why does Bartholomew Cubbins put up with all of that?
A: Guess he's just the kind of guy who does what he's told. That bog-side view must have had him feeling so small for so long that it's just what he does.

Q: Why doesn't anyone else do what they're told?
A: Well, in a way, they do. Everyone comes when the King summons them and does what they are asked. Even the King doesn't execute Bartholomew when he realizes he can't do it legally.

Q: Lucky it worked out for Bartholomew, huh?
A: Lucky indeed. He stuck to his principles, and he made it through, 500 gold pieces richer rather than one head shorter.

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