Title: Horton Hears a Who!
Author: Dr. Seuss
Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
Publisher: Random House, 1954
Analysis: Horton Hears a Who! is a picture book by Dr. Seuss about Horton the elephant who discovers a city called Whoville on a small speck of dust. Nobody else in the forest believes Horton when he tells them that there are people on this dust speck, which he placed on a clover for safety purposes, until Horton gets all of the Whos in Whoville to make as much noise as they can. The morals of this story are very plainly stated; “a person’s a person, no matter how small,” and that one person can make all the difference. Horton is the only character who can hear the Whos at the beginning of the story, and he vows to protect them, no matter what. They make as much noise as possible, but it’s not until the one last little Who, the littlest of all, joins in on the noise-making, that the other animals finally hear the Whos and agree to help Horton keep them safe.
Horton Hears a Who! is an excellent book for young children, but it’s also a good story for older elementary students to read. All readers will take away the messages of the importance of one lone voice and caring for others no matter what. Younger readers will most likely just take the book at face value, while older readers will be able to make connections to other stories and real life experiences. This book is a door for social change because it shows the reader how every person can make a difference, even if you think that your voice doesn’t matter. It could be a mirror for readers who maybe have been Jo-Jos-the little one who felt insignificant or unable to help. It could also be a window for those who have never gone through this type of situation before.
The illustrations in Horton Hears a Who! are typical of Dr. Seuss in that there are lots of abstract and imaginative designs, but they’re still fairly simplistic. The color scheme is black, white, and shades of blue and orange, which is a bit atypical, as most Dr. Seuss books tend to be more vibrant and colorful.