When I was little, I remember going to the fairgrounds to watch the circus being setup. It was always exciting when the circus came to town. Imagine if that circus came to your town by steam ship.
In Circus Ship, a circus boss and his 15 circus animals are in route to Boston. In a Titanic-like moment, the circus boss goes against the captain’s wish to drop anchor and wait for a thick fog to clear and orders the ship to continue to Boston. This decision leads to a wreck that sends the circus animals on a big swim to the nearest town. In the town, the animals get mixed reviews from the citizens. Will the animals survive in their new home? Will the circus boss find them and put them back to work? Read this delightful book by Chris Van Dusen to find out.
Chris Van Dusen is one of those illustrators that is easily recognized in his work. His glowing pages seem three dimenesional with his vibrant color choices. Each character is full of personality and the illustrations tell as much story as the book. Van Dusen is the illustrator of several books such as the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo. If you love those illustrations, you are sure to love Circus Ship. Van Dusen proves that he is also a wonderful author in his rhyming text filled with rich vocabulary. In an author’s note at the end, the reader can learn where the idea for this story originated. That idea might even lead one to begin an exploration of other circus ships and shipwrecks.
I liked how this book showed another side of circuses. I always wonder about how well the animals are taken care of and this book raises that issue underneath the story. With some discussion, this book might lead the reader to other questions about the care of performing animals.
This book has many possibilities beyond just they story. What will you discover in Circus Ship? Check it out today.