Thursday, November 17, 2011

Once Upon a Book ~ If I Ran the Circus


If I Ran the Circus

by Dr. Seuss

Summary:  Be prepared for a very busy book, filled with rhyme and unfamiliar words – behind Sneelock’s Store in the big vacant lot.

Bible Verse:  But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (1 Corinthians 14:40)


I think this book could be a beautiful snuggle up book, if YOU {the adult} are willing to practice and capture the cadence of this elaborate children’s book BEFORE you read it to your children.  If you prepare I think you will find your children sitting beside you, as if trapped by your voice and swiftly juggling their impressions as you turn the animated pages.   But if you do not make preparation . . . you just mind end up like me. 

Initially, not so happy that you purchased the book.  I’m just being honest.  That is what you have come to expect from me.

I first read it to Naomi.  Over lunch.


She was delighted until her food ran out. 

Later, I read it again.  I still need to read it a few more times, so that it flows like poetry . . . like all of the other Dr. Seuss books that I dearly love. 

Perhaps If I Ran the Circus reminds me a little too much of my own life.  Four children and a dog that might as well be a fifth child.  Our house is loud. 


There are stunts being performed daily . . . sometimes imaginary . . . sometimes dangerous.


And when I think about the circus . . . is it peaceful . . . quiet . . . relaxed and serene?

Let me yell with a clanging symbol, NOOOOOO!!!

So, let me give you a piece of advice.  Don’t box this book in.  This is a book that is meant to be acted upon.  Lived.  Shouted.

Here are my suggestions for you to make If I Ran the Circus multisensory for you and your littles:

  • Make a tent out of blankets.  Gather all your animal figurines.  Create circles out of paper for the animals to perform on.  Be sure to use some Tupperware for stunts or for the elephant to stand on!



  • Pretend you are one of the circus animals, like and elephant.  Sing this song,

A circus elephant I went to see (Hold hand over eyes like binoculars)
He had four legs and was bigger than me. (Hold up four fingers and then point to self)
He had two ears big and round (Show two fingers and make a circle with hands)
And one long nose that made a sound errrrr (Make elephant trunk with arm)

  • Place a jump rope on the ground or draw a line with chalk, and have your child walk on top of it, as if an acrobat.  If you have an open area, have them hold a baton or broom to balance.
  • Make popcorn!
  • Find a swing set and play!  Pretend it is the circus!


  • And lastly, find some cymbals.  Finish your circus with some loud clanging!

Just don’t come over to my house!  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Want to see what's coming next (and books we've done in the past)? Click here to see our Once Upon a Book webpage!

signature button Jodi

1 comment:

Bekki said...

Love this. Love dr Seuss!