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CLOWN CHILD by Amy Littlesugar


by Amy Littlesugar & illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-399-23106-4
Publisher: Philomel

An odd tale of a little girl who longs to run away from the circus. Olivia, in 1910, is the Amazing Pickles, a clownlet to her father’s Great Funnybones. She juggles, too, and takes care of the animals for the Crystal Caravan circus, but she longs to live in a real house with curtains and wallpaper, and to go to school. In Homersville, they set up in the fields of the Thorstaads, and Olivia is invited into the house for Norwegian krumkakes and tea. Mrs. Thorstaad even lets her soak in the bathtub. But a monster rain storm moves in, and for three days Olivia’s father cannot reach her. Mrs. Thorstaad’s quilting party does come by, however, and makes disparaging remarks about clown children. A spirited Olivia tells them things regular folk do not know, like not standing in front of the elephants, and demonstrates balancing pin cushions on her nose. When her father finally gets through to take her back to the Crystal Caravan, she knows that her real home is there, even without bathtubs and school. Properly old-fashioned and slightly exaggerated figures fill the blue, red and gold Midwestern prairie landscape amid scenes of times gone by. (Picture book. 6-8)