________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 7 . . . . November 24, 2006

cover

Backyard Circus.

Jill Bryant. Illustrated by Stephen MacEachern.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2006.
48 pp., pbk. & cl., $11.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (lib. bd.).
ISBN 1-55451-011-2 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55451-012-0 (lib. bd.).

Subject Heading:
Circus-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Barb Taylor.

**** /4

excerpt:

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!
Children of all ages!
Come one, come all!
Welcome to the greatest show on earth!
Hurry, hurry, hurry!
Step right up!
See the incredible, the amazing, the spectacular, the unbelievable….”

 

Sound familiar – Jill Bryant wraps up all you need to know from the lingo to the setup and finally the cleanup of putting on a successful backyard circus.

     Aimed at the middle grade child, Backyard Circus is very well laid out, beginning with the fine points of organizing a circus – from getting parents’ and neighbors’ permission to use their backyard, to dealing with the dreaded “lag” time between acts (polish up that harmonica). The book’s nine chapters cover scheduling rehearsals, main acts and where to find performers (“Does your cousin Samantha take ballet lessons”), novelty acts and acrobatics. It concludes, appropriately with the final act – cleaning up.

     The text is accompanied by bright simple graphics, some of them illustrating step by step techniques for magic tricks, designs for posters, as well as a make-your-own megaphone. There are sidebars of interesting circus facts and lore designed to amuse and educate upcoming ringmasters and performers.

Juggling goes way, way back in time. The first time juggling was performed was about 4,000 years ago in Egypt…

     Readable, enjoyable, practical and informative, Backyard Circus is an excellent classroom resource and reading book. There are certainly enough roles included to involve all members of a class or even a whole school. Those of us not interested in actually putting on a circus will learn a thing or two about the immense planning and preparation that goes into putting on a successful show while brushing up on our circus history and trivia.

Highly Recommended.

Barb Taylor is a pre-kindergarten teacher and freelance writer living in Calgary, AB.

 

 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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