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The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, by Dr. SeussThe 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins Free Printable (Parody Math Story Problems)

by Dr. Seuss

A read-aloud tells what happened when Bartholomew couldn’t take his hat off before the king.  He needs to remove his hat and bow to the king, and if a new hat keeps popping on his head, he can’t bow properly.  The King takes Bartholomew to the castle to have the hat removed.  The King is so enraged at one point that he sends Bartholomew to the dungeon, but the executioner can’t execute anyone with a hat on.  So the executioner shakes Bartholomew’s hand and sends him back to the King.

We so loved this story at our house the book is almost worn out.  I still can (almost) recite parts of the story, for instance when the magicians can’t get the hat to stay off, they tell the King:

“Be calm, my Sire, and have to no fears.  The hat will come off in ten short years.”

Not Typical Dr. Seuss

Why do children love this story that isn’t a typical Dr. Seuss book?  None of the adults know what to do, and Bartholomew makes important people very perplexed.  Bartholomew stays calm through the whole story, in full control of his emotions, and does everything the king tells him to do.  There is a story line within this story because of bratty Grand Duke Wilfred who keeps wanting to push Bartholomew off the top of the castle.  At the end of the story the prince ends up being spanked on a castle turret, much to the delight of children.  Bartholomew ends up with no hat on his head, unscathed, and with a reward he takes home to his parents.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins Free Math Printable

Free PDF work page (photo below):


My son was only 19 months when we began reading this story, and wanted to hear it over and over.  I was quite surprised, but when parks look like castles, and many toys have a castle theme,  there must have been a connection of some kind.  My daughter enjoyed the story, too.  This book takes 25 minutes to read, really!  We also saw a play based on the book at the Children’s Theater in Minneapolis, and it was amazing how the hats flew off and on Bartholomew’s head.

This is a link to a site by Random house, with teacher and parent pages, and online games for children: If you click on the activities drawer on the game page, you will find a printable very easy math page about adding numbers of hats.

Here are photos of my FREE fractured fairy tale or parody story problems math pages.


And page 2 . . .


Happy reading, Carolyn