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If I Ran the Circus (Classic Seuss)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon January 29, 2001
"If I Ran the Circus" is classic Dr. Seuss: delightful rhymes, wacky nonsense words, and bizarre creatures drawn in a playful artistic style. And, as in the best of Seuss' books, all these elements come together to celebrate the power of the imagination. The entire book takes place in the mind of young Morris McGurk, who imagines creating an extravagant circus in the vacant lot behind Sneelock's Store.
And what a circus he imagines! As the scenario unfolds, we are treated to many marvelous sights: a 500-gallon lemonade dispenser, a Drum-Tummied Snumm, a fluff-muffled Truffle, a Spotted Atrocious, a trapeze troupe, and much, much more. Dr. Seuss' distinctive rhyming style is on full display throughout. Typical lines: "Then my Tournament Knights! Noble apes without fears! / Sir Hector! Sir Vector! Sir Bopps! and Sir Beers!"
Throughout the book, young McGurk imagines store owner Sneelock performing in the imaginary circus. This gives the book a subtle touch of gentle subversiveness, since Sneelock is an adult, and thus an authority figure. But the humor is never mean, and in fact Sneelock appears both courageous and talented in the many wild scenarios spun in the boy's head. All things considered, "If I Ran the Circus" is a delight, and another triumph for Dr. Seuss.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 1999
If I Ran the Circus is a delightful cross between the tongue-twisting Fox in Sox and the classic Cat in the Hat. I read it to my children until they begged me to stop. Then I read it to my wife. It demands to be read outloud with the greatest of enthusiasm, almost child-like glee, drawing out the unique word combinations and stunning metre and rhyme. Fabuluous.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 1998
Gasp at the scale. Wince at the rhymes. Be amazed at the exploits of Old Sneelock. This book is classic Seuss and deserves to be read much more widely. I recommend it unreservedly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2010
My 6-year-old son checked this out from the library a week ago. I'd never heard of it, but I adore the best Dr. Seuss books, and The Cat in the Hat has always ranked as my #1 book to read to a kid, so my hopes were high. Even with high expectations, though, I was blown away. I have yet to make it through this book without a mistake, but that's partly because it's harder to read tricky tongue twisters when you're grinning. The rhymes are so clever, the rhythms so natural - and it's so fun to read the carnival-barker patter in which young Morris McGurk describes the circus he'll build behind Mr. Sneelock's store - that I think the Cat in the Hat may have slipped to second place. This is just a fantastic book for any kid old enough (it's longish), and especially for any grownup who loves to read aloud. (And my son? He's asked for it every night since he got it, so I haven't had to beg.)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"If I ran the circus" starts off with a boy and an empty lot. I had a lot similar to this near my childhood home. This book played perfectly into my wild imagination of what one could make out of a seemingly uninteresting place. It made me see things in a different way, the possibility that was in every place and every thing. This book is wonderful. Calm Sneelock is worked into the plan. (Isn't it just typical that kids think of shopkeepers as friends?) This book is a big part of my childhood and now I am happy to share it with my kids to help them see the potential in everything. One just needs to use a bit of imagination -- a lesson for young and old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2014
If I Ran the Circus pairs perfectly with If I Ran the Zoo. They make delightful gifts, but be sure to keep a copy for yourself.
I have difficulty getting one of them without the other. That anyone made a living doing this work is a victory on several levels - and the best way I can celebrate it is to buy this book again. And again.
Guess what's on my wish list?
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on March 5, 2015
A boy sees an empty lot behind Mr. Sneelock's store and imagines the circus he could run there. Of course Mr. Sneelock does a lot of the work in the boy's imagination including many death defying tricks.

It was fun following the boy's imagined circus and the many strange acts he would include. The story is sprinkled with humor about the things Mr. Sneelock will do even though he doesn't know about it yet.

The only difficultly with the story was when the words became bogged down in many spots making it harder to get through the paragraphs. There were too many made up words in a row making is difficult to figure out Seuss' meaning. If he had slowed down and simplified it would have been a far better story. But it is still an enjoyable read for grades k-4.
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on July 28, 2015
This book doesn't disappoint, after all, it is a Seuss tale. We love Dr. Seuss in our house and every one gets read aloud to my sons with different voices, expressions, grimaces, and hand gestures. This one is one of the more fun ones to read with exciting detail. I'm hoping these moments are just as memorable to my very young children as they are to me as I don't think any childhood can be called complete without vivid memories of such colorful wacky stories. This one wasn't in our collection until we threw my son a vintage circus themed 1st birthday party. We bought this to have the guests sign with well wishes instead of bringing gifts and cards. Then, we brought it into the home library and read it with great delight. It's definitely a must have for all families!
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on May 7, 2003
My 6yr old daughter picked this book out at the library because she saw a poster of it being held by Jonathan Lee Iverson - the ringmaster for Ringling Bros. She fell in love with the circus at age 4 and had to read this book when she saw the poster. She was so upset when it was time to return it that I decided to buy it for her and give it to her when she completes kindergarden. She looks for it every time we're at the library. It's a tongue twister for adults (what Seuss book isnt't) but actually kind of fun as you get into it. Lengthy too but if you have a circus fan I'm sure they'll love it too.
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on June 14, 2011
This is an excellent book for the young reader. Following in the same sing-song rhyming style of "Cat in the Hat", this book follows the grand ideas of young Morris McGurk as he plans out a circus in the empty lot behind the local general store.

I purchased this copy for my daughter's 3rd Grade class that was having a "guest reader" day during Dr. Suess' birthday festivities. This book is a fun departure from "the Cat", but no real dialogue, so no opportunity for funny voices.
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