Read Aloud Stories: Ten Apples Up on Top

'Ten Apples Up on Top!' is a 1961 rhyming picture book written by Dr. Seuss, under the pen name Theo. LeSieg, and illustrated by Roy McKie. The story follows three animals who stack apples on their heads, trying to outdo each other.

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About the Story

Ten Apples Up on Top! begins with a lion balancing one apple on his head, then two. A dog notes that he can also balance two apples on his head. The lion adds a third, then the dog raises his stack to four.

The lion and dog begin doing tricks, like hopping and walking out on a tree limb, while continuing to balance the apples. Outdoing both animals, a tiger emerges with five apples on his head, then six, then seven.

The lion, dog and tiger continue adding apples and challenging each other, hopping and drinking milk while not letting the apples fall. Ultimately, all of the animals have ten apples on their heads.

Ten Apples Up on Top Dr. Seuss Theo. LeSieg

Ideal for Reading Aloud

Ten Apples Up on Top! can inspire a variety of fun activities that will engage and teach your child. For young children, the book provides an excellent jumping off point for learning numbers. In the book, the animals progress from one to ten apples one by one. You can have your child practice counting the apples pictured on the animals' heads. You can also use real apples or other objects to help tactile learners practice.

To build on the counting game, especially with older children, you can try replicating the game in the book. While stacking apples on a child's head may lead to bruised and inedible apples, try having your child stack apples on a table to see how difficult it is and to practice counting. You can also try stacking games with other objects, including some that may be more suitable for stacking on a head.

If you find objects that are particularly easy to stack, such as hats or other soft objects, ask your child to perform the tricks from the book. While not letting the objects fall, see if your child can jump rope, hop or take a drink. Even with objects that naturally fit on your child's head, these activities are likely to prove quite difficult while building coordination and balance skills.

Tips for Early Readers

Ten Apples Up on Top! is written with primarily monosyllabic words, with few words on each page and many rhymes. This makes the book a good choice for children learning to read. All of the diction is at an appropriate level for early readers and the repetition of the numbers will make reading easier. In addition to reading the story, have your child identify the rhyming words throughout the story.

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