If I Ran the Circus is a 1956 children's book by Dr. Seuss. A young boy named Morris McGurk dreams about the possibilities of having his own big top, showing off spectacular attractions and marvelous animals — with the assistance of his good friend Mr. Sneelock, of course.
This book contains examples of the following tropes:
- Alliterative Name: The narrator is called Morris McGurk.
- Extreme Omnivore: The Spotted Atrocious eats sidewalks along with more natural things.
- Imagine Spot: The entire book consists of Morris' imagination running wild as he thinks about all the things he could do if he had the room to set up a circus of his own.
- Intergenerational Friendship: The boy Morris is friends with local shopkeeper Mr. Sneelock.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Spotted Atrocious lives up to its name as a fearsome beast.
- Running Gag:
- Morris says repeatedly that of course Mr. Sneelock won't mind the circus coming together in the formerly vacant lot behind his store.
- Morris refers to Mr. Sneelock as a friend and says that he is certain Sneelock will help out with his plans for the circus, and of course he won't mind doing some unpleasant or risky stuff.
- Spiritual Successor: It resembles If I Ran the Zoo, both being about young boys contemplating having their own entertainment venues and what they would do with them.