cover image The Secret Circus

The Secret Circus

Johanna Wright, Author . Roaring Brook/Porter $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-403-5

A charismatic group of French mice enjoy a night out in Wright’s dreamy, muted debut. “Somewhere, deep in the city of Paris, there is a circus that is so small, and so secret... only the mice know how to find it.” The pointy noses and dumpling bodies of the mice are inked in spidery lines against a dusty nighttime backdrop on rough canvas. Each line of text teases readers with a secret (“Only the mice know what to wear”), and each spread reveals it: in this case, mice help each other into patchwork yet fancy dresses, shirts and hats. Beside the text, “Only the mice know how to get there...,” a group of mice float through the air in a hot-air balloon, the lights of the city below and the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the distance. More spreads reveal a miniature circus under a carousel, with jugglers, a clown and a cat-taming act. There’s magic in the air, as bright lights and stars twinkle, but Wright keeps the events and the repeating form low-key and lullabylike—just right for bedtime. Ages 2–6. (Apr.)