SING A SONG OF CIRCUS by Ward Schumaker


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Two balloons break free from a vendor's colorful bunch, and, in the spirit of all good runaways, head for the big top. They help the clown get laughs, water the elephants, save the trapeze artist who misses his swing, dole out popcorn to the spectators, and make the strong man look good, among other activities. Then, unexpectedly, they get blown out of the sky when the human cannonball catches them in the wrong place at the wrong time. The balloons plop to the floor. Not to worry. The vendor spots them, gives them an infusion of helium, and they rejoin their clutch of comrades. Schumaker (Dance!, 1996) keeps the story lighthearted; even the downing of the balloons provokes little concern as things seem bound to turn out right. The opening and closing pages of the book can be read or sung to ""Sing a Song of Sixpence"": ""Sing a song of circus:/The circus comes to town,/And in it are ten elephants,/six lions, and a clown,"" while in the middle of the book, the balloons narrate the adventures they hope to have. Schumaker's seven-color, hand-separated illustrations are pleasingly active yet minimal, with all the bustle expected at the circus, energized by the swirling strings attached to the balloons. Is a sequel in the works? On the last page, the two balloons have escaped again.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace