Tuesday, March 18, 2008

If I Ran the Zoo...

...actually, most of the time I feel like I do! In this case though, I am talking about another of my special children's books, "If I Ran the Zoo" by Dr. Suess. I don't actually have much in my little collection in the way of Dr. Suess, so I was a bit surprised when this one jumped out at me the other day when I was scouring the shelves at one of my favorite little used book stores.

I certainly grew up with Dr. Suess and, I thought, had a good memory for his works. However, when I saw this one, I did not recall ever reading it before. It is, as with all Dr. Seuss books, absolutely delightful in it's whimsy.

It tells the story of what "young Gerald McGrew" would do if he ran the zoo, from turning out the normal animals to replacing them with all sorts of strange Suess inventions. I particularly liked the page when he decides to "...go down to the Wilds of Nantucket and capture a family of Lunks in a bucket..." I don't recall seeing any Lunks in Nantucket, but I'll have to look more closely next time!
On the down side, this book was published in 1950 and does reflect some of the cultural insensitivities of the time. It also has a very gung-ho attitude about going to the ends of the earth to capture the most rare and endangered creatures on the planet. I can't imagine we would see a new book published today that contained these ideas.
However, in my own little way, I have been enjoying it. Because of the old ideas and the fact that it is in pretty much pristine condition, I am not planning to share it with my girls any time soon.
What a shame, it will have to remain one of "mommy's special books" as the girls call them. Not bad for $1.

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