Trade Book: Bartholomew and the Oobleck


Summary from Amazon:

In this Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, join Bartholomew Cubbins in Dr. Seuss’s classic tale of one king’s magical mishap. Bored with rain, sun, fog, and snow, King Derwin of Didd summons his royal magicians to create something new and exciting to fall from the sky. What he gets is a storm of sticky green globs called Oobleck, which soon causes a royal mess. But with the assistance of the wise page boy Bartholomew, the king (along with young readers) learns that the simplest words can sometimes solve the biggest problems.

Making Oobleck

Oobleck via HollyFrolly

How to Use Bartholomew and the Oobleck in the classroom:

  • Have students justify the importance of apologizing. Let students share a time when they needed to apologize. Let them talk about some of the reasons they (and other people) are apprehensive about saying ‘I’m Sorry’.
  • Let students make and observe oobleck (non-edible). You can use this recipe from If you want to use smaller amounts a great rule of thumb is two parts cornstarch and one part water.:
    • Ingredients 
      • 2 cups cornstarch
      • 3 drops food coloring
      • 1 cup water
    • Directions 
      • Mix ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. (Add water slowly as it may not need entire cup!).


I’ve done different oobleck activities with elementary students, high school, pre-service teachers, and my colleagues. From making observations (when you observe you use your 5 main senses) with kindergartens to investigating colloids and non-Newtonian fluids with high school students, oobleck is a fun way to explore science!

Note: It is important that participants make the oobleck themselves. It may get messy but clean up is easy. Never let messiness stop learning. Because really, what’s the fun in that.

Other Resources: 

The King’s Oobleck Coloring Page from Seussville


Dr. Seuss is great for all ages. How could you use Bartholomew and the Oobleck?


Don’t forget to check out more education resources on my Quick Links page!

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7 thoughts on “Trade Book: Bartholomew and the Oobleck

    • So true. I’m not sure when saying “I’m sorry” turned into a sign of weakness. I hate when I see people write/say “You should never apologize!” and other nonsense. We all still have a lot to learn.

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