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Literature / If I Ran the Zoo

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If I Ran the Zoo is a 1950 picture book by Dr. Seuss. A young boy called Gerald McGrew, looking at his local zoo, muses about the wondrous creatures with which he could improve it if he were the zookeeper.

This book contains examples of the following tropes:

  • El Spanish "-o": When Gerald claims to have brought an animal into his zoo from Russia, some of the words in his description end in "ski".
  • Giant Flyer: The Fizza-ma-Wizza-ma-Dill is a bird gigantic enough to eat whole pine trees, which Gerald says he'll capture as the ultimate addition to his zoo.
  • Heli-Critter: One of the creatures Gerald says he'll catch is a bug with a propeller that allows him to travel cross-country.
  • Imagine Spot: The entire book is Gerald imagining the improvements he would make to the zoo.
  • Long Neck: The Tufted Mazurka has a throat so long it takes about a month and a half for food to make it to its stomach.
  • Picky Eater: Many of the creatures Gerald talks about catching only eat very specific things:
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    • The Obsk, which eats corn and rhubarb
    • The Bustard, which eats custard with mustard sauce
    • The Flustard, which eats mustard with custard sauce
    • The Fizza-ma-Wizza-ma-Dill, which eats pine trees.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The bustard is a real bird.
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