Why kids love circus books
Colorful costumes, performing animals and sugary cotton candy combine for fun circus stories. Kids will love reading about the circus with these recommended children’s books. Whether your little ones will be listening to you tell the stories or are reading on their own, these circus books will make them smile.
Circus books for little kids
With his penchant for crazy creatures and colorful illustrations, many Dr. Seuss books feel as though they’re wandering through a circus. In If I Ran the Circus, Morris McGurk dreams of what things would be like in the circus of his imagination (Amazon, $12). The dare-devil Sneelock is only one of the fun characters little ones will love about this rhyming classic.
When the animals are out sick, everyone’s favorite, red and white stockinged pig, needs to step into the ring. In Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer, Olivia juggles, flies through the air and tames lions when she’s the only performer available under the big top (Amazon, $15). In this Olivia book, the colors are subdued but the story encourages dreams to soar higher than the trapeze.
The Secret Circus by Johanna Wright is the perfect book for sleepy, bedtime reading (Amazon, $14). A Paris circus will astound readers, but only the smallest visitors know how to navigate the way to find this special place. Children are fascinated by small, hidden worlds, and the 1920s-style mice are precious guides in their hot-air balloon floating over Parisian streets.
Circus books for independent readers
Newbery Medalist Kate diCamillo weaves magic and hope together in The Magician’s Elephant (Amazon, $14). An orphan asks a fortuneteller for answers about whether his sister is alive and begins a journey inexplicably tied to an elephant (mistakenly) conjured from the sky. Independent readers will enjoy the imaginative, twisting tale told in The Magician’s Elephant. DiCamillo’s dreamy prose coupled with the beautiful illustrations by Yoko Tanaka make it a book that will captivate younger children when it’s read aloud.
Kids ask tough questions, and books can offer parents a springboard for hard conversations. In Saving Lilly by Pat Kehret, Erin Wrenn and her friend David take an ethical stand against the Glitter Tent Circus. Their teacher takes issue with their opposition to a class field trip, but Erin soon learns she might have a bigger battle to fight. She’s ready to learn if a class of sixth-grade students can help save a circus elephant from being sold to a hunting park.
Kids aren’t the only ones who love the circus — check out our circus-inspired book club picks!
Do you have a favorite kids’ book about the circus?
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