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The Show Must Go On! (Three-Ring Rascals) Hardcover – September 10, 2013


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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Series: Three-Ring Rascals (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616202440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616202446
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5–The owner of Sir Sidney's Circus needs a vacation, and after reviewing and interviewing many potential circus managers, he chooses Barnabas Brambles, a graduate of the University of Piccadilly Circus in London with a degree in lion taming. But Barnabas is in need of making money and changes Sir Sidney's Circus schedule and pricing for his own profit and treats the animals poorly. Things seem to go wrong almost from the start, and he cancels all but the final show of the week. Barnabas is a complete fraud and knows nothing of circus life, yet Sir Sidney believes that the scoundrel can be a better man tomorrow. Whimsical illustrations are generously positioned throughout the text and play a key role in the book's pacing. Beginning chapter-book readers will thoroughly enjoy this fun and fast-paced title, which has lessons in kindness along the way.–Patty Saidenberg, George Jackson Academy, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

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. Grades 3-5. --Angela Leeper

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
4 star
13%
3 star
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See all 8 customer reviews
It is good for ages 5-10.
Allison L
So many fun word-plays, so many great jokes and use of advanced vocabulary.
birdonthelawn
Sir Sidney runs the best circus around.
Alice Berger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alice Berger on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Sir Sidney runs the best circus around. He's kind to his animals and performers, and kids see the circus and eat popcorn for free. But Sir Sidney is getting older, and decides to hire a manager to help him. Barnabas Brambles, certified lion tamer, eagerly applies for the job and is hired. But Barnabas has very different ideas about how to run a circus.

Leo, the old lion, must be replaced with a cool tiger. Elsa, the elephant, should be sent to the zoo. And the Flying Banana Brothers' skills will be used to drive the circus train. Who needs vermin like Gert and Bert, the mice, and Old Coal, the crow, who are in charge of popcorn cleanup after the circus? Ticket prices must be raised, and more shows added to the schedule! Barnabas wants to make as much money as he can, and he doesn't care who gets hurt in the process. But running Sir Sidney's circus doesn't turn out to be quite as easy (or lucrative) as he expects.

Sir Sidney is a smart man, and he sees through Barnabas Brambles' shiny exterior to the man beneath the ill-fitting suit. His response upon finally seeing what Barnabas has done to his circus is both remarkable and unexpected. The Show Must Go On! is a great story filled with wonderful illustrations, side conversations, jokes and humor that make it a really enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 29, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first book in the "Three-Ring Rascals" series, which follows the antics of Sir Sidney's Circus, the best circus in the world.

MILD SPOILER: In this first volume, "The Show Must Go On! (Three-Ring Rascals)", Sir Sidney hires Barnabas Brambles to work as the manager of the circus. Barnabas turns out to be greedy and nasty, and has been referred to in every succeeding book as having once been the meanest man in the world. Nevertheless Sir Sidney doesn't give up on Barnabas and works to help Barnabas improve himself. Many have commented on the themes of kindness, generosity, second chances, and forgiveness that shine through in book one.

The second volume involves a competition among the circus performers to see who is the "star" of the circus, and ends up as a tale of cooperation, teamwork and family solidarity. Barnabas does some backsliding in Sir Sidney's absence, and so the performers, especially Bert and Gert, the circus mice, have to remind him about a few golden rules. The performers ruin their acts by trying to hog the spotlight, so teamwork and cooperation also figure heavily. The performers are presented as normal and decent characters who occasionally mess up, are forgiven, and try to do better. The books aren't terribly heavy-handed about any of this;

So, these aren't just "message" books, although they aren't shy about making points about kindness, patience, and cooperation. They are gentle, forgiving and upbeat. They are also funny, silly, charming, colorful and energetic books with wacky characters and situations, that just happen to include a positive sub-text, so don't worry that these will be all preachy finger wagging.
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By birdonthelawn on May 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
It's been about a year of reading more advanced graphic novels and the sparely illustrated junior fiction of Roald Dahl to my 5 and 4 year old. We love illustrated children's books but I wanted to challenge them a bit and this is a great introduction as a chapter book. This book held it's own in fun and education with all of the bests we've read in that time.

With the sweet illustrations, I turned each page delighted that it just kept getting better and better. Geography, magic, and the entertainment of the circus world made it a page-turner. So many fun word-plays, so many great jokes and use of advanced vocabulary. I loved reading it to them!

Regarding deeper meaning the Klise sisters took on a complicated subject. We often speak of the competing powers of dark and light and how they exist in all people. The kind and forgiving Sir Sidney was brilliant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought "The Show Must Go On!" as a gift for my 5-year old nephew. He received it Monday. It is now Thursday, and my sister just called to tell me that he absolutely LOVED it. So much so that he wants to go to the bookstore and buy the sequel. (Unfortunately, it hasn't been written yet). He was laughing out loud and even called her into the room to read a particularly funny passage with him. He took it to school with him to show his friends, and he has been talking about it constantly, especially about the circus villain and the funny animals. I can't really think of a better endorsement than the love of a child for a favorite new book. This book hit it out of the park as far as I'm concerned. Here's hoping the sequel comes out soon!
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More About the Author

KATE KLISE is an author of many genres. She has written picture books, as well as middle-grade novels, all illustrated by her sister, Sarah. She has also written two young adult novels and is a freelance reporter for People magazine. Kate lives and writes in Norwood, Missouri. www.kateandsarahklise.com

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The Show Must Go On! (Three-Ring Rascals)
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