Dr. Seuss is one children’s book author that I discovered as an adult. He inspires the ‘imaginator’ in me, each and every time I read his books. ‘If I Ran the Circus’ is definitely one among them. Seussian rhyming and imagination shine through every page in this book.
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Have you ever had some little corner of your house or your neighborhood be the site for all your imaginations and dreams? I know I had one such coveted spot in my childhood town, one where I imagined I would have my own very amazing bookstore. The store would be filled with any and every book one can imagine and you just have to think it, and there it is! It would also have perfect cozy corners for every reader, where one can read in peace.. Blissfully magical indeed.
Morris McGurk and his grandiose plans:
In ‘If I Ran the Circus’, Morris McGurk has a spot just like that, behind Sneelok’s store. And he sure has wonderful plans for that junk-filled lot. He also knows that old Mr.Sneelock, being his friend, will not mind that a circus will crop up behind his store, not at all. After all, he is his buddy. In fact, he will help him out with odd jobs (like serve 500 gallons of pink lemonade and perform acts of dare with a calm I wish for!). As we traverse Morris’ grand plans in his imagination, we encounter marvelous acts of dare, the wackiest made-up words and creatures, and delightful must-read-out-aloud rhymes!
I love Morris’s confidence, his ‘can-do-it’ attitude. This is so visible in younger children. Sadly, the boundaries of what we think we can do seem to draw closer and closer as we grow older. So I am glad for books like these, to provide that inspiration to dream big and do big, and to see the possibilities in everything around us!
I love how the book shows that imaginations know no bounds! How else can there be so many circus-goers(or is it circus-comers in the context of this book), so many acts. so many wonderful-everythings that Morris dreams up in that lot behind Sneelock’s store?
The Magic of Seussian Words and Illustrations:
What about all those made-up creatures and words – like that Juggly Jott who juggles things like twenty two question marks along with commas and a dot or those Through-Horns-Jumping-Deer that astound you with ease!
Seuss introduces all those made-up words effortlessly. They flow along with the rest of the text so well that I have to remember they are made-up words. See for yourself:
Why, ladies and gentlemen, youngsters and oldsters,
Your heads will quite likely spin right off your shouldsters!
And some might well withstand the test of time after the book and become a word. One example of this is from ‘If I Ran the Zoo’, which contains the first recorded instance of the word ‘nerd’!
Last but not the least are the illustrations. The details make Dr.Seuss’ rendition of all these made-up characters in Morris’ circus simply stoopendvelous!
Should You Read the Book? A Resounding Yes:
‘If I Ran the Circus’ is a delightful read indeed! While the many made-up words might make it a bit hard to read for younger readers, it is a great book to read aloud. All those tongue-twisters and illustrations make it totally worth it. For inspiration, for imagination-boosts, and simply for the delight of it – read it now!
Another artist, author who does a wonderful job of made-up characters is Shaun Tan. I have to read most of his books but here is one I enjoyed before – The Bird King – reviewed here
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Writing this post as a series for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and Write 31 Days. 31 Days, 31 Books! This is Day One.
14 thoughts on “Celebrate the Power of Imagination with ‘If I Ran the Circus’”
wow it’s amazing that you only discovered Dr. Seuss as an adult – most of his books were a constant companion of my childhood and I just loved them. Thanks for bringing back fond memories linked to his wonderful use of words and his imagination!
Thank you Lorraine! As a child growing up in India, I mostly read Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and many classics as well (they were more easily available and popular as well). But somehow both Seuss and Roald Dahl were books I found only later – Seuss was only after I moved to the US, I think!
Checking comments form 🙂
I loved reading this as a kid and I still remember much of it! Now as a parent I don’t like reading Dr Seuss books so much because they really are hard to read!
🙂 my kids (think they) are way too old for these books – they are 15 and 12 yo. But I still read this out aloud to them … and while it was a total tongue twister and i had to take my time around some words, i think it was harder for them than me 🙂
I love Dr. Seuess books when I was growing up. I don’t believe I ever read this one though! Will have to check it out! My favorite was Green Eggs and Ham and 1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
this was a new discovery for me as well and i enjoyed reading it.. But I am not sure I can pick one favorite 🙂
Just realized you’re doing 31 books in 31 days. What a great idea.
Glad you joined UBC, will look forward to your future posts. Love your idea of 31 books in 31 days.
What an exciting topic for me to read, children’s books! Although my new great Grandbaby is only one month old, she is signed up to receive a book a month until she turns 5 years old through the Imagination Library! What a great way for her to start with a great book selection and her parents plan to read each book to her as it arrives. You will also be excited to know that because of all your wonderful blogs about books, I actually read an entire book in a day when we lost power during the recent hurricane! I’ll be posting about that soon. So glad to reconnect with you in the challenge!
That is so wonderful that she will be building her own library starting now 🙂 and thank you so much for your comment about my blogs 🙂 Connecting with all of you is one of the best things of the UBC ….
I didn’t read a lot of Dr. Seuss until I had kids. They are so much fun to read and I do love all the imagination.
I started Dr.Seuss as an adult and then of course to my kids.. and yes, I agree so much fun within those pages 🙂
Now my kids are older and I don’t read for them anymore. I remember reading those books which I enjoyed.