TONIO THE GREAT by Hermann Moers


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Tonio, ""the finest acrobat in the circus,"" is famous for his high-wire unicycle act with his wife on his head. But seeing a sparrow fall one day, he loses his nerve--until Anton the Clown suggests a new persona: ""Stumbling Sam,"" the acrobatic clown. So disguised, Tonio is able to duplicate his former feats and even surpass them, masking his skill in apparent clumsiness. Wilkon brings out the pathos of the ambivalent performer in his luminous illustrations, where even the fierce tigers look anxious and the loneliness of the solitary Tonio, high above the crowd, speaks far more eloquently than the circus blare. A wise, gentle story in unusually attractive format, only slightly marred by the inconsequential role of the wife (better to omit her altogether than to make her so insignificant.).

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: North-South--dist. by Picture Book Studio