cover image The Farmer and the Circus

The Farmer and the Circus

Marla Frazee. Beach Lane, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5344-4621-2

The final installment of Caldecott Honoree Frazee’s Farmer trilogy opens with a theatrical flourish as the young clown who starred in the first story returns to the circus; wearing the farmer’s oversize hat, the child rejects the clown costume for a pair of black overalls that mimic the farmer’s. (The other clowns, including one who seems to be the child’s caretaker, look on in amusement.) Along with the circus monkey centered in the second story, the overall-clad child spends the day playing farmer—raking, juggling eggs, and experimentally milking the circus elephant. When the circus opens the next day, who should turn up but the beloved farmer? The young clown and monkey can barely contain their excitement, and as they launch into a performance, the farmer becomes acquainted with the older parental clown. The farmer’s visits become a regular event as Frazee gives the quartet many chances to share their pleasure in being together. As before, Frazee devotes particular attention to the distinctive ways the characters respond to each other and to their expressions of affection, in this celebration of two disparate lifestyles resolving into a single new one. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.) [/em]