A pop-up circus act featuring, luckily, “the world’s strongest cat.”
It all begins with “Miss Prune! In her lovely costume, / she has biceps like moons”—and that’s a good thing, because she is tasked with balancing an immense tower of acrobats, 10 in all, that rises in sections as each of five accordion-folded pop-ups opens up. But sacré bleu! No sooner have Kevin and Kelvin, the ninth and 10th performers, vaulted to the top than an unexpected feline addition—“Ginger! No! NO!”—heralds a catastrophic 3-D whirl of tumbling, airborne acrobats and props. Is all lost? Fear not: One further, last page turn, and there stands the cat…holding up all the acrobats, their arms and legs flung wide. Bravo! A round of applause for the Acrobat Family and Ginger the Red! Vaguely tent shaped, being formatted with beveled edges running up to a tall, sharp peak, the volume may be a challenge to shelve…but it’s not likely to stay on the shelf for long. The stylized, uniformly orange-skinned daredevils, variously decked out in bright costumes as well as bowl cuts, braids, tight curls, and other individualizing features, present as nonspecific people of color.
Inventive paper engineering adds extra oomph to this brouhaha under the big top. (Pop-up picture book. 5-7)