The True Tale of a Giantess: The Story of Anna Swan

In this thoroughly researched picture book biography, Anne Renaud uses playful and rhythmic language and first-person storytelling to perfectly capture the essence of this unique woman’s uplifting life. The detailed, folk art-inspired illustrations beautifully convey the story’s time and place and sensitively portray Anna’s growth. A great lead-in for classroom discussions about differences and inclusion, this book also offers an excellent character education lesson on perseverance. An author’s note with photographs and more information about Anna’s life make this a terrific choice for lessons on personal development or for social studies lessons on this period in history.

Watch Out For Flying Kids!

Levinson follows the participants of two specific circuses that also work together periodically: Circus Harmony, in St. Louis, whose participants are inner-city and suburban kids, and Circus Galilee in Israel, whose participants and Jews and Arabs. As the kids’ relationships evolve over time, the members learn how to overcome assumptions, animosity, and obstacles both physical and personal.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 2

Dad Runs Away With The Circus

Dad demonstrates that it’s never too late to shine in the spotlight in this quirky book about following your dreams.”The circus is in town!” Dad roared.”And we’re all going to see it!”Audrey and Zach are still half-asleep — and can’t help stifling yawns — when Dad bursts in with his announcement. Dad is so excited, he starts practicing daring stunts before they even leave for the show. Under the big top, Dad’s enthusiasm is downright embarrassing, and Audrey and Zach suspect it has something to do with the generation gap. But even they could never guess just how carried away their dad is going to get! With striking graphic artwork by one of Israel’s top illustrators and comic-book artists — splendidly showcased in a double gatefold spread — an acclaimed Israeli author brings his talents to the world of picture books for the first time.

Chained

After 10-year-old Hastin’s family borrows money to pay for his sister’s hospital bill, he leaves his village in northern India to take a job as an elephant keeper and work off the debt. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and hurt with a hook until she learns tricks perfectly. Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can, knowing that the only way they will both survive is if he can find a way for them to escape.

Lewis Clowns Around

Poor Lewis hates being a puffin. His brother Harris is great at catching fish, flying and doing puffin things, but Lewis just doesn’t fit in. He longs for a different life, far away from the crashing waves and tall cliffs of the Firth of Forth. Lewis finds the answer, and heads off to the circus to become a clown. He meets many incredible creatures: Carla Koala, Zorro the Highwire Cat, the Flying Blue Monkeys and Daredevil Pat. But when his act goes terribly wrong, can Lewis overcome his fears, find some confidence and save the day? A charming and hilarious rhyming picture book about a young misfit puffin who learns that it’s okay to be different.