Book Review: Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran the Circus

Posted August 27, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran the Circus

If I Ran the Circus


Dr. Seuss

fantasy, picture book that was published by Random House for Young Readers on October 12, 1956 and has 58 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Sneetches and Other Stories, Horton Hatches the Egg & Horton Hears a Who!, Green Eggs and Ham, The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, The Lorax, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, Daisy-Head Mayzie, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, The King's Stilts, Scrambled Eggs Super!, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories, You're Only Old Once!, My Many Colored Days, McElligot's Pool, Sleep Book, I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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” ideas, I’m really impressed with Morris McGurk’s fantastical thoughts…as well as all those circus wagons, lol. Oh, lordy…that organ…rofl… Think of a circus with all the acts you suspect, feed ‘em steroids, and go all Seussian with some mindwarping ideas.

Better watch the kids before they take up your brooms and — not to tidy their rooms! — but to go roust-about-jousting.

Oh, man, you will absolutely adore how beautifully Seuss gets complex ideas across in his rhymes, and you can’t help but get caught up in his racing, fun rhythms.

The Story

Ah, yes, young Morris McGurk has great plans and is counting quite heavily on Sneelock’s good graces.

Whatever did poor Sneelock ever do to McGurk?

The Characters

Morris McGurk is a young lad with wonderful plans for the…

…Circus McGurkus with its horn-tooting apes who could get a gig anywhere in the world with those two or three tongues. Rolf the Walrus has marvelous balance. The Drum-Tummied Snumm is quite musical. The Remarkable Foon and his taste for pebbles from the moon. The Wily Walloo has quite the rope trick. The Hoodwink is most intriguing [to me] for his levitating hood.

I suspect the Blindfolded Bowman from Brigger-ba-Root is not going to please ol’ Sneelock. The Juggling Jott sounds more like a writer to me! There’re all those creatures in the circus parade followed later by To-an-Fro Marchers who march in those layers. The dentist’s dream is the Spotted Atrocious and so many more.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a yellow background with a light red curtain sprinkled with orange stars, overhanging it on the right. On the left are three Seussian creatures balancing one atop the other starting with a pale pink ball to pale pink balloons. The title is in white outlined in black while the author’s name is in black.

The title is Morris’s dream of If I Ran the Circus.