Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose

Last updated Friday, February 8, 2013

Author: Dr. Seuss
Date of Publication: 1948
ISBN: 0394800869
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2013

Synopsis: Review
This classic Seuss title stars a happy-looking quadruped from the shores of Lake Winna-Bango who has the most amazing antlers and the kindest disposition. Alas! Everyone, but everyone, takes advantage of his generosity, and before long he has three-quarters of the animal kingdom nesting in the convenient perches atop his head. ("They asked in a fox, who jumped in from the trees, / They asked in some mice and they asked in some fleas.") You might think someone would take pity, but nobody seems to like an oddball, and all Thidwick gets for his trouble is complaints and contempt. Unable to cross the lake when winter threatens, he looks all set to starve--and then things get even worse. He is saved from certain death just in time, swims the lake, and joins the herd again. One reason this Seuss is so good: it has a moral, but the moral isn't pressed too far and the exuberant linguistic fun isn't subservient to it.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What does it mean to be big-hearted?
•  Have you read other Dr. Seuss books? If so, what is your favorite one?

•  Antlers- a solid bony appendage that projects from an animal's head
•  Dwell- to live somewhere
•  Host- someone who entertains guests
•  Pest- a plant or animal that's destructive
•  Pell-mell- something that occurs in a confused, disordered way
•  Gulch- a deep valley with a small stream
•  Sluice- a body of water pent up behind a floodgate

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What would it be like having to carry others everywhere you go?
•  How could the pests have been better guests?
•  Was Thidwick too nice of a host?
•  How could Thidwick have gotten rid of the pests on his horns?
•  How long would you like to have guests at your house?

Craft ideas:
•  Cut moose antlers out of construction paper. Draw and cut out birds, bugs, and other animals. Paste these critters on the antlers you've made.
•  Make a bird's nest using strips of construction paper and yarn. Draw birds and eggs to live in the nest!
•  Make Valentine's Day cards for your friends and family!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!