If I Ran The Circus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

If I Ran The Circus

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  3,201 ratings  ·  150 reviews
In this delightful tale, Morris McGurk dreams about staging the world's greatest show, packed with the most tremendous, stupendous acts ever seen, from the Spotted Atrocious -- a beast most ferocious -- to the Drum-Tummied Snumm from the country of Frumm. This delightful book forms part of the second stage in HarperCollins' major Dr. Seuss rebrand programme. With the relau...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published August 4th 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1956)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kat
Basic Plot: Morris McGurk contemplates turning Mr. Sneelock into the star of a circus.

The Circus McGurkus would truly be a thing of wonder if he managed the circus he envisions, and Mr. Sneelock must be truly deserving of a young boy's adulation, considering what the boy seems to think Sneelock is capable of.

This reminded me a lot of being very young and making "plans" to create wild and crazy productions that everyone would come see. I remember "practicing" a roller skating routine for hours wi...more
John Yelverton
Cute little Dr. Seuss book.
Greg
It's been quite a while since I first opened a Dr. Seuss book. It's always a joyous pleasure to sit back and unravel the great simplistic beauty that is a Dr. Seuss book, whether as a child or adult. His words are forever immortal and shall live longer than time itself.

As for this book, this is the first time I read "If I Ran the Circus". Every name and description in the book is original and fun, and the rhyme is unforgettable.
Luann
I don't remember ever reading this one as a young child, but I'm glad to have read it now. It's certainly your trademark Dr. Seuss book with lots of interesting, fantastical creatures. Young Morris McGurk is planning to open a circus in the vacant lot behind Sneelock's Store. In his Circus McGurkus he will feature such creatures as a Drum-Tummied Snumm who uses his tummy for a drum; a Wily Walloo who can throw his tail as a lassoo; a Juggling Jott who juggles question marks, commas, and also one...more
Hillary Emory
"If I Ran The Circus" is a classic Dr. Seuss book. It rhymes, has wacky creatures, and wacky words. This was one Dr. Seuss book I had not read before, so I loved reading it and experiencing that child-like excitement that these books convey. I have to admit I have never been a huge poetry fan, but Dr. Seuss makes it so much fun and engaging.
"If I Ran The Circus" takes place in the mind of Morris McGurk, who imagines creating an extravagant circus in the vacant lot behind Sneelock's Store. The s...more
Bambini Travel
Dr Seuss takes on the circus with primary colors, imaginative characters, and rhymes galore. If you are a Dr Seuss fan and a circus fan, this book was made for you. To be entirely honest, with only a few exceptions, Dr Seuss is not typically my cup of tea. However, the circus is a topic made for his over-the-top creativity and zest. A little boy imagines a circus in the empty lot behind Mr Sneelock's store. The Circus McGurkus. Full of 500 gallons of pink lemonade, a walrus named Rolf, a Blindfo...more
Charles
Recently I realized I hadn't read very many Dr. Seuss books, including The Cat in the Hatand The Lorax, and I ought to get more familiar with such an exceptional writer and illustrator. This was my first book I read in that quest. The imagination required to think up the worlds he envisioned must be something truly extraordinary. This simply couldn't come from an average person, and it's a delightful read.
Mike
Sneelock later snapped and murdered an entire village of carnies.
Shannon
Morris McGurk suffers from delusions of grandeur.
Lanier
I love the imagination of this particular book, and if I got anything from it, it's BE A SNEE!
Hell, man, this guy got it done!

Treat yourself and pick up four or five Children's books and see them from an adult perspective. Even better, present them to your kids or younger relatives. There's no better way to get kids excited about the written word, arts, sciences [questioning], travel, languages and The World of Wonder than by reading WITH PASSION any of these great books.

While in Oz, I was able...more
Andrew Casey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim
Ok, I got to revisit this book with my 4-year-old lately and it took a huge leap forward on my list of favorite Seusses. While I usually like Seuss's Themes, this is just a brilliant stroll through the great gent's imagination. Much better, IMO even than Seuss's first foray into the how-crazy-can-a-kid's-imagination-get genre, To Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street.

I'm and English teacher and a verbal guy, but in this case it's one of Seuss's illustrations that won't let me go. You can't hel...more
Sam Wojtaszek
The Circus McGurkus! You had me read this two you several times. Between the fun rhymes, the crazy antics and daring feats performed by the old man Sneelock and all the fun variety of creatures, you just loved this book.
Karen
My five-year-old son picked this book out from the library last week. I'm not sure what he was expecting, but this book left him delightfully baffled

Poor Mr. Sneelock. He has a big circus behind.

Laurie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Antonia
This is a classic Dr. Seuss book. I remember when I was growing up everyone would go crazy when The circus would come to town. Families and class trips would all get prepared to take their children there. I remember my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Kosher read me this book before our class trip to the circus. It was so amazing to see the pictures and think this is the treat I was going to be in for. She was so animated with her words and they all rhymed. Later as I grew up and read the story again, all...more
Jamie
"Why! He'll be a Hero! Of course he won't mind when he finds that he has A big circus behind."

This book contributed greatly to my concept of what it meanas to be a friend. Morris McGurk believes that his old "friend" Sneelock can do anything and gives him many roles in his imagined circus that he will construct on the old vacant lot behind Sneelock's store. Filled with such memorable quotes as:

"My workers love work they say 'work us please work us.'"

"And when I play dixie please join in the chor...more
Melanie Jortner
My father and I used to read this together and now my daughter and I do. It one of my favorite childhood stories. Fun to read !!
Kaethe
Had I read it as a child it might well be enshrined in my heart. As it is, meh.
Keely Shannon
3.5 stars. This one has never been my favorite, but it's still a solid choice.
Jonathan
At last! I found a copy to read, and enjoyable reading it was as the train rolled. While not Seuss’s best work (but then, not every book can be The Sneetches or The Butter Battle Book), it has his trademark inventiveness and wackiness as young Morris McGurk dreams up is own Circus McGurkus. Stars include the To-and-Fro Marchers, Drum Bellied Tumm, the intrepid Sneelock (McGurk’s unfortunate neighbor), and my favorite, the “Hoodwink / Who winks in his wink-hood. / Without a good wink-hood / a Hoo...more
Soplada
Just the rhyme is magnificent!
Samantha
A boy imagines turning an empty lot into a circus. The lot is behind a store and the boy imagines the shop keeper will be none to happy to help out with the various acts in the circus.

The text can be tongue-twisting (think Fox in Socks at times) and the big draws to the show sometimes resemble features you might find in a freak show, but this book is fun through and through. The illustrations are black and white with highlights in the primary colors (red, blue, yellow).
Toryia
"If I Ran The Circus" is an amazing book by Dr. Seuss. This book involves Morris McGurk, a young boy with a vivid imagination. The main reason I like this book is because it shows that you don't need a lot of money to create something amazing. You can create a circus with a bunch of junk and a little imagination. I actually was a counselor at a camp were we made a circus out of junk and preformed for parents. It was a great experience for me and the kids.
Chris Terry
I can't say that this was my favorite book as a child (don't remember ever reading it), but I can say that this is my favorite book to read to my kids. I just love the concept and how difficult it is to read without having to pause or stumble over a rhyme. I don't get to read it as much as I want to. When my first daughter was younger I felt like every night I read The Lorax. Where the Lorax is a great book, I'm just burnt out on it, but the message is better.
Dolly
May 23, 2009 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2009, childrens, rhyming
Yet another fun book by Dr. Seuss . I don't remember this one from my childhood, but it's a good one. It's a bit long, but it's a good story to read aloud. The rhyming narrative, fantastic creatures, colorful and crazy illustrations and the marvelous Mr. Sneelock make this a classic Seuss tale. We've read this book a couple of times and we enjoyed reading it together.
SophiaW CLC
It is a doctor seuss book. What’s not to like?
Jack Kirby and the X-man
If I Ran the Zoo is my favourite Dr Seuss book, so I was keen to read its younger sibling.

In all I felt Zoo was a better book. Circus continues the grand tradition of fanastic rhyme, rhythm and tongue twisters, but I liked the animals and adventures in Zoo better than the circus tricks of Circus.
Snorkle
A delightfully imaginative book, I love how the main character gets carried away in his daydream and imagines more and more crazy attractions for his imaginary circus. Dr. Seuss' rhymes just flow off the tongue, they are crazy and oh-s0-much fun. I'd definitely recommend this book.

*Taken fro my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2008...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Seuss Lovers: If I ran the Circus 1 0 Dec 06, 2012 06:43PM  
Riley Hoffart 1 1 Dec 07, 2011 03:33PM  
  • The Bike Lesson
  • George and Martha Rise and Shine
  • Nutshell Library
  • The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
  • Chicken Little
  • Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • Harry by the Sea
  • Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel
  • The Little Red Hen
  • Russell and the Lost Treasure
  • Thelonius Monster's Sky-High Fly-Pie
  • A Birthday for Frances
  • Oh, Baby, the Places You'll Go!
  • Fancy Nancy: Sees Stars
  • The Wump World
61105
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born 2 March 1904 in Springfield, MA. He graduated Dartmouth College in 1925, and proceeded on to Oxford University with the intent of acquiring a doctorate in literature. At Oxford he met Helen Palmer, who he wed in 1927. He returned from Europe in 1927, and began working for a magazine called Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at the time, submitting both carto...more
More about Dr. Seuss...
Green Eggs and Ham The Cat in the Hat Oh, The Places You'll Go! How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Lorax

Share This Book

“And, now, come to this spot
Where the spotlight is hot
And you'll see in the spotlight
A Juggling Jott
Who can juggle some stuff
You might think he could not...
Such as twenty-two question marks,
Which is a lot.
Also forty-four commas
And, also, one dot!
That's the kind of Circus McGurkus I've got!”
39 likes
More quotes…