Everyone needs to eat, even circus acts!
In this charming collection of poems, a circus chef waxes lyrical about the whimsical meals he must prepare for those who perform under the big top. “My days are long and sweaty, and the chaos never ends. / But still I find I’m most content when cooking for my friends,” declares the chef. Keeping performers well-fed and happy is a challenge. However, this chef is up for it, as his quirky poems attest. A rhyme or two may sound forced—for instance, for the homesick strongman from Ukraine, "I made him vushka and some tea / From his babushka’s recipe”—but for the most part, they delight. “The lion is a true gourmet” and a demanding diner. “First comes antelope pâté, / Followed by a consommé. / His entrée is a wild boar. / He wolfs it down and roars for more.” As for the book’s namesake, the Flying Fanellis, “They only ask for lemon cakes / To fill their fearless bellies.” Readers should save their biggest applause for the illustrator. Kawa’s mixed-media palette is as magical and over-the-top as any circus experience. Dreamlike sequences are portrayed in rich, vibrant colors. Fantastical scenes pan, track, and tilt: top-down, down-up, up-close, and faraway. Don’t miss the tiniest details, from flaming teapots to vegetables on legs.
Enjoy a ringside seat and be enthralled by a circus that’s like no other. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)