Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Show Must Go On!

Booklist (August 2013 (Vol. 109, No. 22))

Grades 3-5. Kate Klise, author of the wildly punny 43 Old Cemetery Road and Regarding series, turns to a slightly younger audience in this amusing series opener. After years of developing his traveling circus into one of the best shows in the world, old and tired Sir Sidney decides he needs some help. He hires Barnabas Brambles for a one-week trial run, but it’s clear that the smarmy certified lion tamer is more concerned with making money than respecting the performers and talking circus animals. When Brambles tries to add more cities to their tour, sell off some of the older animals, and allow the directionless Famous Flying Banana Brothers to navigate the circus train, plenty of high jinks ensue, including getting stuck atop the Saint Louis Arch. Playful black-and-white illustrations and creative language—in the form of sight gags, coined words, speech bubbles, letters, and phone texts—keep the story lively. Math teachers will especially appreciate Brambles’ profit calculations throughout. A big-top introduction to the author’s quirky humor.

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