In the third installment of the endearing Three-Ring Rascals chapter books, Sir Sidney’s circus brings cruise-ship entertainment to a new level, and Brambles’ heart grows as large as an ocean.
Sir Sidney continues to work with his manager, Barnabas Brambles, on being kind. Bert and Gert, the circus mice, see a long road ahead, but little do they know a sea change is coming. A letter from a Miss LaPasta arrives, inviting the circus aboard a cruise ship—all except Brambles! Miss LaPasta has “heard he’s the meanest man alive.” With that, Sir Sidney determines they will go, with Brambles. It’s only after they embark that they discover that Miss LaPasta is a lonely child who did not tell her mother, Capt. LaPasta, about the invitation. Worse, Sir Sidney is laid low by seasickness, while Brambles becomes lovesick for the captain. And although the ensemble thrills the passengers with their antics and acts, the unhappy captain sees ruin and disaster. Then they hit an iceberg! The adventures are captured in text that fully integrates art and speech bubbles, geography lessons are gratis, and the climax is marked by a meatball version of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” All’s well that ends with wedding bells.
With this series, youngsters will find reading smooth sailing and look forward to future escapades. Next up: The circus tours Europe! (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-10)