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If I Ran The Circus
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If I Ran The Circus

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  3,933 Ratings  ·  204 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)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 12, 2016 Pooja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
My husband was asking me since ages to read this book to him. The title is engaging and every time he'll call, he'll ask me to read this one book.

Finally the day came when I got to read this book to him.
So humorous it was.

I used to stop in between just to hear him laugh. Then I'll make comments on the illustrations, so he laughs more at them. I'll go on reading, with such interest he'll listen to me, making me think it's the best thing that ever can happen to somebody. And so it is.

There is no
Oct 14, 2014 Mariℓina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I 've been re-reading Dr. Seuss's books lately, with my nine year old brother and we both have a blast with those amazingly written, classic stories.

There are many good reasons to consider Dr. Seuss's books as classic in children literature. Some of the brilliance of those stories is hidden behind elaborate plots, mindblowing illustration, weird names and above all beautiful meanings.

This beautiful book is simple, yet multilayered. We are following the very interesting thoughts of Morris McGurk
Archit Ojha
Sep 05, 2016 Archit Ojha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
After pleading a lot (and by a lot I mean a week) with my wife to read this book I finally got the fruits.

If I ran the circus is a story of boy who dreams up of establishing a circus. And a good one for the record.

There's this one nonchalant character that I don't wish to name that was the RDJ of his times.

He could do it all. No tricks in the circus pamphlet was missing from his CV.

Verdict : Thou shalt read this, people.
I wanted to rate this book 5 stars so bad because I loved the illustrations and the beginning of this book but by the time I was half way done with this book I was so over it. Dr. Seuss wanted to make this Zoo bigger and chaotic but I felt like he got lost in the madness of it all. For building such a creative story, I felt like the rhyming was way too much, the usage of make believe words were overused then his other books and I got confused and lost from the story. I can see that this was a ve ...more
Tedi Tsopelas
Nov 16, 2015 Tedi Tsopelas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Young Morris McGurk fantasizes about the hypothetical circus that could be put up in the empty property behind Sneelock’s store. “The Circus McGurkas! Colossal! Stupendous! Astounding! Fantastic! Terrific! Tremendous says Morris McGurk. From hearing the “Drum-Tummied Snumm” hum to seeing the “Hoodwink who winks in his wink-hood”, Morris McGurk fills a whole book with creative ideas of acts for his circus. Through defining lines and saturated colors, the books illustrations successfully add conte ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books, 2014
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
Morgan Folk
May 22, 2016 Morgan Folk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response:
I read the book “If I Ran the Circus” by Dr. Seuss to my little sister and she really thought it was funny and she told me that it rhymed. I liked this book because it was short and gets a point across.

This book started off with a boy named Morris McGurk who wanted a circus right behind the old man Sneelock store. He had to do a couple of things first thought. He had to pick up all the cans, pick the weeds, and then get rid of some junk cars. Then he came up with the na
John Yelverton
Cute little Dr. Seuss book.
Not one of his best books and nowhere near as good as if I ran the Zoo. The rhyming felt muddled and I found myself falling over some of the lines as they just weren't as smooth as usual. The feeling of the circus was there, all those bright colours and amazing stuff going on and the "Roll up! Roll up!" style calls in the rhymes.

Did feel a bit sorry for poor Mr Sneelock at times though, poor overworked fella.
Feb 27, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 27, 2011 Luann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book, 2011
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
Kathy Davie
A standalone picture book for youngsters with dreams and thoughts of circuses.

My Take
Authors should check out the title and dedication page, if only to enjoy how Seuss laid it out. Very clever and very cute.

The colors in the images are in primary colors: red, white, yellow, and blue. As for the graphics, they’re quite simply complicated and will make you laugh. I did love the pink lemonade “container”. And yes, there are pages more of clever and fun.

Hmmm, speaking as one of those kids with “big
Hillary Emory
Mar 16, 2014 Hillary Emory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emory-grades-3-5
"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
Nov 18, 2015 JIA QIU rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
A boy sees an empty lot behind Mr. Sneelock's store and imagines the circus he could run there. 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. 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 str ...more
Michelle McBeth
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 makin
Rebecca Sherod
Dec 03, 2014 Rebecca Sherod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book “If I ran the Circus” Dr. Seuss uses his usual mixture of unknown, made up words and rhyme to create a unique, funny and undoubtedly entertaining story. It begins with a young boy named Morris McGurk, who dreams of one day opening a circus “behind Sneelock’s Store in the big vacant lot.” He goes on to describe the wonders of Circus McGurkus tent by tent, each one featuring an outlandish and unimaginable event.
The playful words of this story match the illustrations throughout the b
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
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.
Aug 08, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, 2015
Wonderful tongue-twisting rhymes as young Morris dreams up the ideal circus he would run behind his friend, Mr. Sneelock's, store. Fantastic creatures with curious skills populate this phenomenal circus and the star is none other than Mr. Sneelock's himself, who is roped into one daring escapade after another because, of course, he won't mind helping Morris out. Lovely detail in these illustrations, especially Morris's perceptions of a never-changing Sneelock who calmly smokes his pipe while wre ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shannon
Sneelock later snapped and murdered an entire village of carnies.
Dec 30, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: michael
Morris McGurk suffers from delusions of grandeur.
May 10, 2012 Lanier rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This book was purchased for the fourth grade to read prior to an event that was circus-themed. Surprisingly, I had never read this Seuss book before.

I noted the first-person narrator telling of a dream (future tense) of the circus he would construct behind his friend's business. The book describes all the acts that the circus would have.

Most impressively, this children's book used the words pell-mell and dingus. That doesn't happen much these days!

Typical zany Seuss!
Jan 25, 2016 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An imaginative young boy (not unlike the one that saw the parade on Mulberry Street) describes the circus he will have once he cleans the lot behind Mr. Sneelock's grocery store. That kind gentleman will do everything from selling balloons to training exotic Seussian animals to being shot out of a cannon, and he will remain unruffled as he performs all these tasks.

Delightful illustrations and a couple of special Seuss words in the rhymes.
Very similar idea as "If I Ran the Zoo". The imagination and creativity are free flowing. A little boy imagines all unique creatures that could be in his zoo as he stares at an empty lot behind Mr. Sneelock's shop. I didn't like how Mr. Sneelock was treated as an employee of the zoo, and it did not ever really get addressed. The book is long winded. The rhymes only line up if you can figure out how to pronounce the crazy words correctly. Nothing remarkable about this Seuss.
Chad VanDosen
Sep 11, 2016 Chad VanDosen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
What a great story with awesome illustrations and creative words. This book would definitely belong in my classroom. I know the children would love the crazy words and following along with the imaginative story. It's many kids' dream to go to a circus or have a circus and this book makes it come alive. It opens a world of possibilities at a favorite children's location: the circus.
Dec 28, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a really fun, really well-written and really easy Dr. Seuss book. It had really fantastic illustrations, great characters, really fun rhymes and a really fun story. I haven't read this book in a very long time. This is one of the best Dr. Seuss books I've ever read in my whole life. I really recommend this book to Seuss fans of all ages.
Another great feat of imagination; loved the illustrations but didn't get quite as caught up in the delight of rhyming and wordplay as I have in some of his other books. Well worth sharing, though, with children who will enjoy pointing out the fantastical creatures as they are named and described in the telling of the story.
Kate Puleo Unger
Christopher raided the Dr. Seuss section of the library, and he managed to find several books he (and I) hadn't read yet. If I Ran the Circus is one of them. A young boy imagines cleaning up the lot behind a store in his town and setting up a circus. The book digresses into a chronicle of all of the strange creatures and acts that he'd have in his circus.

Many of them feature Mr. Sneelock, the owner of the store, doing crazy stunts. The boy, Morris McGurk, assures the reader that good, old Sneelo
Rosa Cline
Apr 15, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
This book from Dr Seuss is for the older children as it has more longer words and paragraphs than the books for younger children. But the fun is still here. The rhyming and using imagination is all over this story. My 4 year old granddaughter and I giggled and grinned throughout this story.
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Seuss Lovers: If I ran the Circus 1 1 Dec 06, 2012 06:43PM  
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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
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“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!”
More quotes…