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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for children, with more Dr. Seussian creatures
Young children will love this foray into a child's imagination as he imagines the wonderful creatures that he would bring into the zoo if he could only be allowed to run it. Anyone familiar with Dr. Seuss will not be surprised at the fantastical creatures which populate the imaginary zoo and delight young readers. Some children may be confused, however, when at the end...
Published on April 6, 1998

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wit, tainted with racial caricatures
This is another great whimsical Dr. Seuss story, except that in a few place Dr. Seuss indulges in the temptation to draw upon the stable fanciful of racial and ethnic caricatures in American culture to add humans to the menagerie of odd creatures here. If you are of Asian, African, Russian, or Iranian descent, you might feel offended at these depictions. If I were a...
Published 9 months ago by A techno geek


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for children, with more Dr. Seussian creatures, April 6, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
Young children will love this foray into a child's imagination as he imagines the wonderful creatures that he would bring into the zoo if he could only be allowed to run it. Anyone familiar with Dr. Seuss will not be surprised at the fantastical creatures which populate the imaginary zoo and delight young readers. Some children may be confused, however, when at the end of the book the child reverts to reality and his spectator role, sadly watching a pedestrian zoo run by a plump, adult zookeeper.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure delight, July 16, 2002
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
Let's face it. The world has changed a lot since the prolific genius Suess (aka Theodore S. Geisel) penned this classic tale in 1950. The expanse of time, however, has not rendered this rhymed story any less fun for the younger set than it was then.

True enough, young Gerald McGrew complains that the lions and tigers in a pretty good zoo are "awfully old-fashioned"---before dreaming about catching new ones in an equally old-fashioned way.

But most readers---in fact, all but the biggest of stuffed shirts---will quickly forget the politically incorrect aspects of the cages and trap-doodles McGrew imagines taking to the wild mountains of Zomba-ma-Tant and Tobsk, not to mention Motta-fa-Potta-fa-Pell and Hippo-no-Hungus. The machines are pretty amusing--including the Skeegle-mobile, the Bad-Animal-Catching-Machine and the Cooker-mobile.

Travelers through these pages also encounter the gol-darndest lion, with ten feet; topknot hens, an Elephant-Cat, a Gusset, a Gherkin, a Gasket, a Tufted Mazurka, a Nerkle, a Nerd, a Bippo-no-Bungus---the list goes on and on---and a Seersucker too (get it?).

If he ran the zoo, Gerald would make a few changes, that's just what he'd do. But changes to this book would totally destroy it. `What this zoo must be worth!" Gerald imagines crowds cheering. "It's the gol-darndest zoo/ On the face of the earth!"

Got that right, young master Gerald.

---Alyssa A. Lappen
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best.., September 4, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
In "review" of the current online reviews - y'all just don't get it. Dr. Suess' books are about using ones imagination, not just the environment (which y'all seem to take literally), but how we treat, and take life (ALL life) in general on a day to day basis. Relate the "animals" in "If I Ran the Zoo" or "If I Ran the Circus" to someone you know (or read about). Learn from them. Enjoy.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A zoo filled with fanciful animals of the imagination., May 13, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
I first read this children's book when I was much, much younger. And, I still enjoy it. It is about a boy who, if he ran the zoo, would replace all the animals with very unusual species, all of them quite fanciful and imaginative. This book is another illustration of how much the author loved children's imagination and how important it is to develop that imagination. The book was a 1951 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustration in a children's book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wit, tainted with racial caricatures, January 18, 2014
By 
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
This is another great whimsical Dr. Seuss story, except that in a few place Dr. Seuss indulges in the temptation to draw upon the stable fanciful of racial and ethnic caricatures in American culture to add humans to the menagerie of odd creatures here. If you are of Asian, African, Russian, or Iranian descent, you might feel offended at these depictions. If I were a school librarian, I might re-catalog these out of the children's section, into a "mass culture examples of ethnic stereotypes" section, if such a category exists.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Dr. Seuss!, September 18, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
"If I Ran the Zoo" is my absolutely favorite book by Dr. Seuss! This book is an instant childhood classic. I cannot remember how many times I begged my grandmother to read it to me. By far one of the Doctor's most imaginative stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seuss At His Best, June 13, 2014
By 
HuntleyMC (Streetsboro, OH) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
This is a really imaginative great book. I think kids would really enjoy reading it and looking at the crazy traditional Dr. Seuss drawings. Be warned that this book was written in 1950s and things that were acceptable then are not necessarily politically correct today. How he describes some ethnicities in this book could be considered racist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dr Seuss takes an awkward turn, July 7, 2014
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
As others have mentioned, this book is racist. I also did not like the gun imagery and phrases suggesting the killing of animals. Most Dr Seuss books are pure classics, but this one is in desperate need of a timely update.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Seuss is So Stinking Creative!, January 27, 2010
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
I have to remember that this book was written back before political corectness went haywire. I had a little giggle to myself about the "helpers who wear their eyes at a slant," and "...from the blistering sands of the Desert of Zind. This beast is the beast that the brave chieftans ride...A Mulligatawny is fine for my zoo, and so is a chieftan. I'll bring back one too." and "I'll go to the African island of Yerka" which isn't bad, but the illustration, of two black men looking more like monkey than men is quite bad by todays standard.

There are a few more P.R. things your wouldn't see nowdays, but you have to date it to the time when it was written. It is still a great, creative story. The first words out of my daughter's mouth were, "Hey mommy, if ~I~ ran the zoo, I would..."

Good `Ol Dr. Seuss. Even though the rhyming got to be tricky reading aloud for my tried at 8pm brain, everyone enjoyed it.

This book actually recieved a Caldecott Honor in 1951. The brain of Dr. Seuss...to come up with so many original and off-the-wall animals and characters in his books. Not my favorite Dr. Seuss book by a long shot but still worth a read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'd reach for another Seuss., May 9, 2013
By 
SC Lady (South Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)
I never had this as a child. We checked it out of the library, and I wasn't a fan. As others stated, it has some pretty dated racist undertones that we've thankfully abandoned as a society by now. As others stated, I'm not a fan of the "gol-darn" phrase either. Its too close to the swear. But IMO the biggest issue we have is that it is far too long and not as concise. I sometimes have ten or twelve lines on a page that feel like rhyming babbling to me, rather than the refined storyline of the Sneetches, for example. If you took out what I feel are lines of incessant babble just for the sake of carrying on, it would be more appropriately about 1/3 this length.
Im sorry, Dr. Seuss, I love you, love it this won't be a permanent addition to our collection.
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If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss)
If I Ran the Zoo (Classic Seuss) by Dr. Seuss (Hardcover - October 12, 1950)
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