Through his trademark, meticulous attention to detail, Caldecott winner Spier ( Noah's Ark ) not only spotlights a sensational circus extravaganza, but also examines its many elaborate components--from the various staff members' arrival in town to preparations for the big show itself to the packing up to move on to the tour's next stop. Spier's prose ranges from his terse opening (``Setting up: a crew of 32 men and women. Riggers, mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians . . . 14 acres of canvas . . . 100 miles of ropes and wires . . . '') to his easygoing, witty description of a bald animal trainer (``Austrian Mr. Bauer takes a bow with his llamas. They have more hair than he does!''). More consistent are his colorfully cluttered portrayals of the circus goings-on--behind the scenes as well as under the big top. This deservedly lauded author puts on a spectacle that is the next best thing to having front-row seats on the center ring. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992 Release date: 09/01/1992 Genre: Children's
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