Come One, Come All! To the Greatest Show on Earth!
It’s Barnum and Bailey Day!
The sounds, smells, tastes, and emotions in a circus tent can be overwhelming. And nobody shows this better than Peter Spier, author and illustrator of numerous children’s books including People, Were They Ever Happy!, and Caldecott Honor Award winner The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night. In his book Circus!, Peter Spier captures every sound, every smell, every taste, and every emotion, with his detailed illustrations and captivating text. This picture book takes us in a behind the scenes look at a day under the big top. We can see the unpacking, the rehearsing, the clown’s make-up application, and the troupes from around the world.
Note: Of all the topics in children’s literature, the circus seems to get a lot more negative attention than other topics. This is usually centered around the treatment of animals in the circus and the behind the scenes activity, which are sometimes counter to the show put on for the spectators. And then, there’s the very prevalent fear of clowns that steer many people away from reading a circus story to children.