The Saint and the Circus

Roberto Piumini, Author, Barrett V. Root, Illustrator, Barry Root, Illustrator Tambourine Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-10377-4
Filofilo, the pot-bellied acrobat for the Bumbellini Circus, dazzles his audience, expertly dipping his balancing pole ``to give the crowd the thrills they had paid for.'' Suddenly, a sparrow lights on the end of the pole, tipping it precariously. The acrobat's panicky cry of ``Heaven, help us!'' alerts the celestial Emergency Room, manned at that moment by the inept Saint Tony, ``who had been made a Saint more for his good humor than his good sense.'' The well-intentioned saint dispatches a second sparrow to even things out--with unhappy results. A pigeon, cat, dog and monkey follow in slapstick succession as the beleagured saint's desperation increases--leaving poor Filofilo swaying overhead. In the lively translation of Piumini's Italian text, humor mounts with the arrival of each new animal, and Root's ( The Araboolies of Liberty Street ) zany depictions of the portly circus star and his startled menagerie are executed with a panache befitting the big top. The antics are somewhat predictable, however, and the book's design--excessive white space and cramped text--may not appeal to all. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-688-10378-1
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