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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on July 16, 2002
Let's face it. The world has changed a lot since the prolific genius Suess (aka Theodore S. Geisel) penned this classic tale in 1950. The expanse of time, however, has not rendered this rhymed story any less fun for the younger set than it was then.
True enough, young Gerald McGrew complains that the lions and tigers in a pretty good zoo are "awfully old-fashioned"--before dreaming about catching new ones in an equally old-fashioned way.
But most readers--in fact, all but the biggest of stuffed shirts--will quickly forget the politically incorrect aspects of the cages and trap-doodles McGrew imagines taking to the wild mountains of Zomba-ma-Tant and Tobsk, not to mention Motta-fa-Potta-fa-Pell and Hippo-no-Hungus. The machines are pretty amusing--including the Skeegle-mobile, the Bad-Animal-Catching-Machine and the Cooker-mobile.
Travelers through these pages also encounter the gol-darndest lion, with ten feet; topknot hens, an Elephant-Cat, a Gusset, a Gherkin a Gasket, a Tufted Mazurka, a Nerkle, a Nerd, a Bippo-no-Bungus--the list goes on and on--and a Seersucker too (get it?).
If he ran the zoo, Gerald would make a few changes, that's just what he'd do. But changes to this book would totally destroy it. 'What this zoo must be worth!" Gerald imagines crowds cheering. "It's the gol-darndest zoo/ On the face of the earth!"
Got that right, young master Gerald. Alyssa A. Lappen
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on September 3, 2003
A timeless and fun romp of imagination - children are so gifted at seeing beyond how things are to how they could be. If more grown-ups would read books like this with their kids and reconnect with their innate creative self, we could really create a better world of possibilities!
I also recommend: If I Ran the Circus -and- If I Ran the Family !
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on April 6, 1998
Young children will love this foray into a child's imagination as he imagines the wonderful creatures that he would bring into the zoo if he could only be allowed to run it. Anyone familiar with Dr. Seuss will not be surprised at the fantastical creatures which populate the imaginary zoo and delight young readers. Some children may be confused, however, when at the end of the book the child reverts to reality and his spectator role, sadly watching a pedestrian zoo run by a plump, adult zookeeper.
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on May 13, 1999
I first read this children's book when I was much, much younger. And, I still enjoy it. It is about a boy who, if he ran the zoo, would replace all the animals with very unusual species, all of them quite fanciful and imaginative. This book is another illustration of how much the author loved children's imagination and how important it is to develop that imagination. The book was a 1951 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustration in a children's book.
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on February 6, 2004
Actually this book is the one that introduced for the first time the word NERD. The widly spread use of this word was taken from a curiosly angry character in this book. Only for that, this book deserves to be a classic. But aside that, this book is probably the best work of Dr. Seuss. It is very imaginative, beutifully illustrated and impressively well writen.
A must have for every child. I'm mexican and this book illustrations made me learn english. I truly recommend this title.
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on March 2, 2001
I am currently in high school. Since I was 2 years old I have been enjoying this classic story. It liberates the imagination, and gives all people of all ages the permission to think creatively and accomplish something important. I have lived by this book since I was young. I will always enjoy it because it is an inspiration to any reader who associates with Gerald McGrew. "And some how or other I think I could find some beasts of a much more unusual kind."
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on September 4, 2001
In "review" of the current online reviews - y'all just don't get it. Dr. Suess' books are about using ones imagination, not just the environment (which y'all seem to take literally), but how we treat, and take life (ALL life) in general on a day to day basis. Relate the "animals" in "If I Ran the Zoo" or "If I Ran the Circus" to someone you know (or read about). Learn from them. Enjoy.
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on March 31, 1998
MY SON LOVED THE RHYME AND WENT THROUGH THE HOUSE TRYING TO FIND OTHER WORDS THAT RHYME AND BEGAN TO MAKE UP HIS OWN WORDS. THE PICTURES WERE COLORFUL AND AS ARTISTIC AS ONLY DR. SEUSS CAN DO. I DIDN'T LIKE THE FACT THAT THE BOY IN THE STORY MADE THE STORE OWNER BE VOLUNTEERED INTO EVERYTHING. THE READER NEEDS TO SEE THAT THE BOY COULD BE A LITTLE SELF-SUFFICIENT TOO.
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on March 8, 2000
AS A PARENT AND TEACHER I HAVE ENJOYED THIS SEUSS BOOK MORE THAN ANY OTHER. COUNTLESS TIMES IT WAS READ TO MY OWN CHILDREN AND NOW MY SON IS USING IT IN HIS CLASSROOM AS CLASSIC SEUSS.A MUST BUY FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT AND FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE!
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on September 18, 1999
"If I Ran the Zoo" is my absolutely favorite book by Dr. Seuss! This book is an instant childhood classic. I cannot remember how many times I begged my grandmother to read it to me. By far one of the Doctor's most imaginative stories.
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