cover image Circus 1-2-3

Circus 1-2-3

Megan Halsey. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-17104-9

Halsey (Who Wakes Rooster?) invites readers to step right up under the Big Top and count from one top-hatted ringmaster to 10 brightly clad clowns. Working in cutouts, she creates a spotlight effect: animals and acrobats alike appear to be performing under bright lights, with the cutout figures casting shadows over the spectators. The background for the eight tightrope acrobats and trapeze artists is neatly shaded in curving stripes to emulate the pinnacle of the tent, lighted from below. In other spreads, Halsey represents the audience members with small ovals in colors that complement the costumes of the performers. Two waggish mice appear in each picture, waiting to be found by young readers; a closing spread enumerates the cast once more. Youngsters can count on this splashy introduction to the greatest show on earth. Ages 2-5. (Sept.)