OLD BET AND THE START OF THE AMERICAN CIRCUS by Robert M. McClung

OLD BET AND THE START OF THE AMERICAN CIRCUS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Even before Barnum, there was Bailey: Hackaliah Bailey, an entrepreneur who, in 1808, purchased an elephant from a sea captain and took her back to his farm in Somers, New York, where he housed her in his barn, exhibited her to neighbors, and then took her on the road. In time, he added other animals to create ``Bailey's Traveling Show and Menagerie,'' which toured New York and New England, included clowns and acrobats, and was displayed in ``the first circus tent.'' McClung's engaging fictionalization is interesting as much for the Early American logistics of keeping an elephant as for the events, which are pleasantly enlivened by the presence of Hack's young nephew. Kelly achieves an appropriately old-time flavor with energetic illustrations whose cheerful characterizations and careful definition of forms recall the Petershams. (Young reader/Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 16th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-10642-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1993




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