Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Show Must Go On - a book review

Quotes today are from one of my favourite books:  The Night Circus....

"The most difficult thing to read is time.  Maybe because it changes so many things."
"Only the ship is made of books, its sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink."

                                 ~Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Title:    Three Ring Rascals     The Show Must Go On    Book #1
Author:  Kate Klise
Illustrator:  M. Sarah Klise
Ages:  7-10

Sir Sidney's Circus is the most revered circus in the country.  Sir Sidney is a loving, kind soul who adores his participating animals and treats them with admiration and respect.  For example, Elsa the elephant is served only fresh peanuts, while Bert and Gert, two little mice, have the privilege of enjoying all the left over popcorn from the shows.  Sir Sidney is getting older and he wants to retire from this hectic circus life.  He realizes he must find someone to substitute for him and finally encounters Mr. Barnabas Brambles.  Now Mr. Brambles is a villainous character who sees this circus as a chance to make lots of money for himself.  He cares little for the animals or their schedules.   More shows, more cities, more money is what motivates him.  Sir Sidney sees Barnabas's energy and new vision and decides to give him one week to put his plans into action.  Oh my, the mess he creates in one week is unbelievable.  He is cruel to the animals, has to cancel most shows because he puts the Banana twins in charge of engineering the circus train which is most often lost and parked somewhere out of control.  Everything around him is in chaos and shambles but the brave animals rise to the occasion and  do the right thing ... they congregate together and agree that the show must go on ... no matter what.

The illustrations, wordplay and expressive vocabulary are so fun for the reader to digest.  The book can also be a starting point to discuss how to deal with meanies and bullies.   I love the moral of the story.  Everyone is worthy of a second chance and Sir Sidney demonstrates this as he dispenses  forgiveness, mercy and love towards Barnabas.  He believes that Barnabas can change and use his gifts and talents to run a very successful circus.  The quote I liked the best in the book was:  "Because behind every great man is someone who believes in him," said Sir Sidney." And I don't think anyone has believed in you.  Am I right?"   This is a great book and it will be released to buy on September 10th.

Algonquin is a doing a wonderful job of getting high quality reading materials into kids hands and I applaud them for their efforts.   I received a review copy of this book from them and I am more than happy to highlight this book and endorse its content.

About the author:  

  • Kate Klise

  • Catherine "Kate" Klise is an American author. She has written many award-winning children's books, most of which are illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise. Wikipedia

  • About the illustrator:  

  • M. Sarah Klise draws and paints in her studio in Berkeley, California. With her sister, Kate Klise, she previously collaborated on novels and the picture bookShall I Knit You a Hat?

  •                      Book Review Rating:    8  (Fantastic!)

  • Fun poem today for you on circus theme.  Enjoy!

  • The Circus ...

    The crowd shuffles in as the dust fills the air,
    “popcorn, peanuts”, the man shouts from the stair;
    Three rings are decked out in red, black and white
    somebody, somewhere is checking the lights.
    A large, mirrored ball starts spinning around
    rainbows start flying, when in come the clowns.
    With polka dots, stripes, three dogs and a pig
    eight hula hoops and a big wooden keg,
    which rolls ’cross the ground on big yellow wheels
    ten monkeys climb out, while the little pig squeals.
    The spots are focused, in struts the stilt man
    when out of the blue up strikes the band,
    With a lively tune the parade soon appears,
    elephants lead while the rest take the rear.
    Everyone smiles and claps for the troupe
    that flips and tumbles their way round the route.
    Dust flies off of the bright, wagon wheels
    pulling lions and tigers in cages of steel.
    The tamer stands tall on a horse’s back
    holding a tiger that’s wrapped round his neck.
    Sweet smells are drifting in and out of my nose
    as the ringmaster’s whistle suddenly blows.
    “Lay-deeee’s and gennnn-tle-men” rings loud and clear,
    with a steady drum roll we all stop to stare;
    Up in the ceiling the trapeze is swinging
    two men and a boy are flipping and winging;
    All of a sudden the crowd gasps a shout
    for the lad that had a near-miss, no doubt!
    Clapping for each of the miracle feats
    it’s on with the show, please keep your seats.
    Next the high-wire act moves into place
    while the clowns continue to fill in the space
    Between the acts, so you won’t get bored
    as you drink your coke and laugh some more.
    Six high-steppin’ horses trot into ring one
    with perfect precision they are second to none.
    While filling ring three there are six black cats
    that have six white birds who share of the act.
    In the center ring the tamer scurries
    cracking the whip - the lions look worried;
    They each take their stand with a little roar
    sit with each other then roll on the floor.
    Jump through the flames while the band plays on
    when the tiger performs, the lions all yawn!
    Next the elephants thunder their way back in
    waving their trunks while showing a grin.
    Swinging and swaying or taking a seat
    it’s hard to imagine all the tons on their feet.
    A cannon sounds off as you watch a man soar
    with a pink parasol he drifts to the floor.
    The jugglers are tossing double-edged swords
    as the ringmaster says his last few words.
    The rest of the showmen come in single file
    dressed in sequined clothes, wearing great big smiles!
    And the band plays on - saved it’s best for last,
    we’re all reminded of “how sweet was our past”,
    For we never forgot the sights and the sounds
    or the smells of the circus when it comes to our town ...

    © 2007 Joy A. Burki-Watson

  • Read on and read always!  Have a great day!

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