For fans of Horton, of "Horton Hears a Who" fame, there is a unique opportunity coming to Newton.
The Goddard Puppet Ladies, a group of volunteers with the Goddard Public Library, will perform Horton's first book appearance — "Horton Hatches the Egg" — at 3:30 p.m. May 30 in the Prairie Harvest mezzanine, 601 N. Main.
The performance is free.
"Horton Hatches the Egg" is a children's book written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss published in 1940.
The book tells the story of Horton the Elephant, who is tricked into sitting on a bird's egg while its mother, Mayzie, takes a permanent vacation to Palm Beach. Horton endures a number of hardships but persists, often stating, "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent!" Ultimately, the egg hatches, revealing an elephant-bird, a creature with a blend of Mayzie's and Horton's features.
In 2001, Publishers Weekly reported that the book had sold 987,996 to that point, placing it at 138 in the magazine's list of the best-selling children's books of all time. It was included in "Six by Seuss: A Treasury of Dr. Seuss Classics," which was the main selection for the Book-of-the-Month Club in June 1991. In 1992, Horton's refrain was included in the 16th edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.
In 2007, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children," based on an online poll.
It has been adapted into short movies and videos — an now a puppet show.
According to the Kansas Humanities Council, the Goddard Puppet Ladies began in 2012 as an offshoot of the Goddard Women's Club. They learned attendance at Goddard library’s children’s programs was declining. Story Time with the Puppet Ladies grew in popularity beyond the library and has reached over 10,000 people.
They have been in Newton before, performing their version of "The Little Red Hen" at Newton Public Library in 2017.