The Show Must Go On! (Book #1 Three Ring Rascals) by Kate Klise
Sir Sidney's Circus is looking for a new manager. The kindly old circus owner, Sir Sidney, needs a rest from all the actions and duties of the circus. He hires Barnabas Brambles for a one week trial. Barnabas claims to be a certified lion tamer, trained at the University of Piccadilly Circus in London, England but the circus performers and animals quickly become suspicious of this claim. Barnabas’ management ends up quite a disaster, but the animals do their best to keep the circus together. Because he doesn’t seem to know how to drive the circus train, he makes the two acrobat brothers drive. They end up creating quite a few disasters in their navigation that plague them all, but especially Barnaby. All the circus performers miss Sir Sidney very much, and we soon discover that he is missing his circus too. This is a great series for second and third grade readers to be introduced to the creative writings of Kate Klise. The lessons taught by Sir Sidney of kindness and giving someone a second chance underscore the story throughout. The illustrations are clever and bold, using both regular text and balloon speech to carry the story forward (thanks Kate's sister Sarah!). I loved the two mice who create new vocabulary by joining two words together (ex. vulgar + bully = vully). I can't wait to see what happens in book 2!