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Peter Spier's Circus Hardcover – September 1, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Through his trademark, meticulous attention to detail, Caldecott winner Spier ( Noah's Ark ) not only spotlights a sensational circus extravaganza, but also examines its many elaborate components--from the various staff members' arrival in town to preparations for the big show itself to the packing up to move on to the tour's next stop. Spier's prose ranges from his terse opening ("Setting up: a crew of 32 men and women. Riggers, mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians . . . 14 acres of canvas . . . 100 miles of ropes and wires . . . ") to his easygoing, witty description of a bald animal trainer ("Austrian Mr. Bauer takes a bow with his llamas. They have more hair than he does!"). More consistent are his colorfully cluttered portrayals of the circus goings-on--behind the scenes as well as under the big top. This deservedly lauded author puts on a spectacle that is the next best thing to having front-row seats on the center ring. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-- In the spirit of Peter Spier's Rain (1982) and Peter Spier's Christmas (1983, both Doubleday), this premier illustrator offers a glorious new treat. As the Circus McNulty rolls into town, readers see an empty field transformed into a miniature village, with a one-room school housed in a trailer truck; a vet who checks all the animals before the performance; and an international troupe of trainers, clowns, and acrobats. After the players have been introduced, it's showtime: trick riders; trained seals, bears and lions; plate spinners; and the human cannonball. Even the intermission has its joys. "But all good things must come to an end . . . " As the cars slowly bump their way out, the cleanup crew is hard at work; and six hours later the field is left once again to the rabbits. The focus here is on the pictures, of course, with the breezy text serving more as captions than story. Spier's familiar blues and greens are used to great effect in the moonlit double spreads of the elephants parading to and from the train, and bright splashes of red and yellow in smaller, cartoon pictures that break up the pages. He has a sharp eye for the kind of detail young readers like. Better suited for individual reading than for storytimes, this will be a great addition to the always-sparse selection of circus books, and children will undoubtedly want to pore over it. Buy lots--you'll need them! --Caroline Parr, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385419694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385419697
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
4 star
6%
3 star
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2 star
0%
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See all 17 customer reviews
Happy to add it to my collection.
hapaxlegomenon
The story is engaging and the pictures are delightfully detailed.
Pearl
One of the best loved children's books in our house.
Wayne A. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on April 26, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
My kids love this book.
It is beautifully illustrated, with very detailed drawings that draw children into the scenes. The story is enchanting for little ones and introduces them not only to the circus but also to how people work, different countries in the world and different people.
Lots of animals, clowns, acrobats and a human cannonball will keep your little ones's attention glued to the book. One of the best loved children's books in our house.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Diana S. Briner on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Peter Spier is an excellent detailed artist who take familiar subjects and really brings them to life. The books are particularly good for the story but mainly fun to work with young children to locate things in the pictures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pearl on February 25, 2006
Format: School & Library Binding
Of the 100 children's circus books in our library, this is the best. We just had to have our own copy. It helps a child know what to expect and what to look for at the circus and to understand what goes on behind the scenes. After the show we remember more when we reread the book. The story is engaging and the pictures are delightfully detailed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chrijeff VINE VOICE on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
In one of his best picture books--and one that can be enjoyed equally by kids and their parents--Spier portrays in ink and watercolor illo's and words that don't talk down the people and workings of a travelling circus based upon the well-known Big Apple. He shows us how it sets up (by night), who its people are and where they come from (the performers hail from such lands as Japan, France, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, Hungary, Germany, China, Spain--and the U.S.), and something of how they live when they're not working, and follows a typical performance from the Great Parade to the Grand Finale. For anyone who's ever thrilled to a circus (from Barnum & Bailey on down) and wondered what it would be like to live "on" one, this book is a must-have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is my brothers absolute favorite book. The detail in the pictures is unbelivable. This is a must for every childs book shelf
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of these purchases met my needs as an art teacher and a grandmother. Most were for my art classes for children 6-12.
The most recent horse stories for my granddaughter. She had read Birthday Pony at school and desired her own copy. When I had to find the copy through a bookseller, I saw the same author's book RUNAWAY RADISH, and knew she would enjoy them.

Thanks for connecting me with 2 different sellers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We took our grandchildren to the circus. I purchased this book as a follow up from the outing. It is perfect to reinforce what we saw at the circus and a nice reminder of the memories we made there. The illustrations were very appealing and I was impressed with the content.

I bought six different books an this is by far the best! Very informative!

GOOD PURCHASE!
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Format: Paperback
Peter Spier's illustrations depict the circus in fascinating detail. The behind the scenes story of how the circus is set up and the lives of the circus families is just as interesting as the performance the public sees. This is a book readers can pore over for hours. It depicts a vanishing tradition that once provided an exciting highlight of childhood.
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