This week we tackled another FIAR book – Another Celebrated Dancing Bear by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk. It worked beautifully with our first ever circus visit. While both of us didn’t care much for sepia-toned illustrations, the story itself is wonderful and very optimistic. The only point that I didn’t like is that the job of a circus dancer is apparently a lot more fulfilling and happiness-inducing than a role of a hospital helper. I give this book extra points for mentioning my own city of birth (no, it’s not Moscow :))
Miss Bindergarten Plans a Circus with Kindergarten by Joseph Slate/Ashley Wolff has combined nicely two major themes of the week – a circus and a kindergarten. Unfortunately, the story didn’t hold Smarty's attention, but she is not very interested in alphabet-based books lately. I was hoping that she might be interested to try some of the circus numbers herself, but they were a bit exaggerated in the story. She was, however, fascinated with a picture of someone “lifting a ton” and pointed out that he is actually lifting two tons.
If I Ran the Circus is a typical Dr Seuss book. I almost twisted my tongue for real reading some of the pages. Smarty, however, is in a sensitive period for language fun, and she really enjoyed this book. I saw her rereading the story and studying illustrations several times. I liked the story better than If I Ran the Zoo, because the main character cleverly incorporates someone else in his daydreaming, and those pages are really funny for adults (well, at least they are funny for me).
My last recommendations to extend a circus theme is to read Peter Spier’s Circus, but I already wrote about this wonderful book twice. So instead I will give you an extension for Russia – Annie… Anya: A Month in Moscow by Irene Trivas. Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but it’s a good story set in relatively modern Russia (more Russia of my youth) and it has a lot of Russian words woven into a story. For other suggestions on Russian theme, check out my guest post at Mama Smiles.