Circus 123

Guido van Genechten . Clavis (IPG, dist.), $13.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60537-162-7
Flea circuses are so 19th century—Dutch author/illustrator van Genechten has something flashier in mind in this counting book set at a ladybug circus (the performers bear a strong resemblance to the star of his recent Super Ladybug to the Rescue!). As the book works its way up to 10, the wide-eyed, black-and-red beetles pop against pale taupe backgrounds and lightly sketched props. One of two bicycle-riding ladybugs does a handstand on the handlebars of its bike, while "four aerialists soar from the trapeze and astonish everyone." Each number appears as both a word and a numeral, and while the text is fairly straightforward, it still creates a light sense of excitement around the ladybugs' performances. The book ends on an off note—somewhat literally—as ladybug #10 leaps into a circle of nine beetles and begins "playing a tune by a famous French wind artist" (music notes emanate from the beetle's backside). A quirky counting book that's mostly distinguished by van Genechten's entertaining crew of strong men, acrobats, and jugglers. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Genre: Children's
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