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Literature / If I Ran The Circus

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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.
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  • 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.
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