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Horton Hatches the Egg

Horton Hatches the Egg


by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hatches the Egg Theme of Abandonment

As funny and goofy as this storyis, we can't help but feel our heart-strings tugged in a million different directions. Let's face it: all humans have a fear of abandonment, and Dr. Seuss latches onto that big time. We get the feeling that we're not just talking about birds abandoning their nests here. Before we read too much into it (and get a big, fat headache) it might help to know that Seuss experimented with lots of scenarios while writing Horton Hatches the Egg. In an early draft, he even had Horton coercing Mayzie into giving up the nest. But even if Seuss can claim total detachment, Horton will resonate with readers (big and small) who are involved with related real-world issues like adoption or surrogacy. It's never light reading when it comes to our pal Horton.

Questions and Answers

Questions the little ones might ask and how you might respond

Q: Why does Mayzie leave her egg?
A: Oh look, a puppy!

Q: Will Horton ever leave the elephant-bird?
A: If he stayed strong when he was faced with snow and sleet—and bullets!—he'll probably stay with it forever.

Q: Why doesn't anybody help Horton when he's hatching the egg?
A: Maybe they felt awkward. Would you want someone watching you hatch?

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