The Circus Ship

Loosely based on true events, Chris Van Dusen‘s The Circus Ship is an engaging tale about an exotic shipwreck. School Library Journal: “After their steamship en route to Boston is wrecked in a storm, a troupe of circus animals escapes bad treatment and disaster, finding its way to an island off the coast of Maine. The 19th-century residents are surprised to find zebras eating their gardens and alligators lounging on woodpiles. Sympathies change when a tiger saves a toddler from a blazing shed. When a messenger announces that the cruel circus owner is returning to claim his menagerie, the citizens assist the animals in disguises and camouflage that confound him, leaving the friends to a peaceful coexistence. Van Dusen’s rhymed text keeps a rollicking beat. His illustrations burst with color and energy, and utilize perspective and texture to add drama and humor. Period details create a counterpoint with elements like a gorilla in a lifeboat. The spread of the animals in ‘hiding’ is pure genius.” Be warned: the afternoon I brought this book home from the library, James had me read it to him five times, and he still requests it nightly. Finding the 15 animals that go into hiding when the ringmaster returns is the definite highlight. Giggle factor: varies by page; particularly high for the monkey disguised as a baby. Adult enjoyment: likely. Illustrations: four jelly jars.


~ by kaychubbuck on October 1, 2010.

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