'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 28 September 2011

My Fave Dr Seuss Book: Rebecca Newman

My favourite Dr Seuss book is If I Ran the Circus. The first time I read it, I was about 9. We borrowed it from our local library and I loved Morris McGurk's imagination. I was a kid who liked to think up Grand Plans (especially Grand Plans for Getting Rich), and Morris McGurk was a Grand Planner, too. He imagined turning a vacant lot filled with rubbish (including abandoned cars) into a huge circus - The Circus McGurkus.

As a grown-up, I still love all the wonderful-sounding made-up words (the hallmark of a Seuss title) and most of all I love Sneelock, who owns a small store just outside the yard where Morris plans to put his circus.

Sneelock makes me laugh because Morris starts out imagining him helping out 'doing small odds and ends' but he gets carried away and by the end Sneelock features in almost every section of the Circus McGurkus performing crazier and crazier stunts. And through every amazing feat, Sneelock remains deadpan (and continues to smoke his pipe ... something that would no doubt be a sticking problem for illustrations in new children's books today!).

As a 9 year old, I identified with Morris McGurk who looked at a run-down yard and imagined fabulous possibilities. I think it's remembering that feeling of possibility that makes If I Ran the Circus my favourite Dr Seuss. (Plus, I just like saying The Circus McGurkus.)

Rebecca Newman is the editor of sensational literary magazine for kids - Alphabet Soup. Make sure you catch her wonderful posts on Soup Blog, too.