Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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If I Ran the Zoo
If I Ran the Zoo
by Dr. Seuss

If I Ran the Zoo Meaning

What is this book really about?
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Limitless Power (Mwahahaha)

Seuss's book presents the power of creativity in its pictures, words, setting, and, well, everything. Through these aspects of the book, Seuss shows children that through their imagination, they might have more power than their bedtimes or allowances would suggest.

Let's take a closer look. Children are often told, "That's not a word!" when they try to spout off sentences not approved by Oxford and Merriam-Webster—as if such an act were a crime against good social graces and the language gods. But along comes Seuss, who demonstrates that words can be imagined in all shapes, sizes, and crazy configurations. Tufted Mazurka (23.2) and Nippo-no-Nungus (30.5), anyone? In a weird way, these made-up words make perfect sense in the logic of the imagination.

Better yet, these imaginary words can actually change the world. Ready for something awesome? Seuss coined the word "nerd" in If I Ran the Zoo (32.12). Yep, nerd. This word has since leaped the world of McGrew's imagination and changed the real world. We use it every day, and some of us wouldn't know what to call ourselves or our friends without it.

We all use language, and we all have imaginations. By adding the two together, we all have the ability to change the world through a combination of the two. Children and adults, it doesn't matter. Imagination is that powerful of a tool. And boy did Seuss know it.

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