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Peter K. Alfaenger.

Toronto, Groundwood Books, c1982.
Distributed by Douglas & McIntyre.
55pp, paperbound boards, $13.95.
ISBN 0-88899-0154.

Grades 4-6.
Reviewed by Jean C. Mabee.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

"The last caravan has gone. Nothing is left of the circus except a board with a brightly coloured poster. 'But why feel sad? Why don't we make our own circus?'" These opening lines give the purpose behind the creation of this book. The plans are laid out systematically beginning with making the big top to the development of the acts to be performed. Included are the orchestra, ring-master, clown, many animals, acrobats, jugglers, magicians, plus several others. Instructions are given for costumes and actions for the various performers. In many instances the materials required may be very difficult to get, (e.g., a gum boot for the camel) or difficult for children to manipulate and work with (cutting coconuts to make the monkey mask). Some instructions seem incomplete (knife thrower's act) or too complicated for the children to follow. There seems to be a conflict between the audience level and the level of expertise required.

The book is colourfully illustrated and well organized. Unfortunately, the poor quality of the binding combined with the difficulties the readers would encounter in trying to follow the directions make recommending it impossible.

Jean C. Mabee, Dieppe E. S., Winnipeg, MB.
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