Horton Hears A Who! by Dr. Suess tells the story of Horton the Elephant who, while splashing “in the cool of the pool,” hears a small noise, like a very small yelp, but sees nothing except a “small speck of dust blowing past through the air.” Horton speculates that a very small creature must be on top of the dust speck and imagines that the small creature is afraid that the dust will blow into the pool. Concerned, “because a person’s a person, no matter how small,” Horton gently lifts the speck with his trunk, places it on a clover, and tries to protect it.
The other animals in the jungle make fun of Horton, conjecturing that he is “out of his head.” Eventually the voice on the clover confides to Horton that he is the Mayor of a town called Who-ville, and that Horton has saved all the Whos and their buildings. As the other animals chase him and ultimately threaten to imprison Horton and boil the dust speck, all the small Whos make enough noise to finally be heard by the other animals, who finally recognize that there are indeed very small persons in the clover.
Readers of all ages can appreciate Horton’s story, which inspires questions like: Did Horton know there was a person on the dust speck when he heard the sound? How did he know it? Why didn't the other animals didn’t believe him? Do you have to see, hear, or touch something yourself in order to believe it’s there? Can you think of something you know exists even though you can’t see, hear or touch it?