Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A tiger took me to the circus and other star turns!

A Tiger Took Me to the Circus (out of print) written and illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden. Alexia really wants to visit the circus, but she is not well enough to go. Later that same night her cat turns into a tiger and carries her to the show. Alexia has a wonderful time and is even allowed into the ring to help with the acts. In the morning, Alexia and her cat are curled up asleep in bed. The only sign of their night time adventure is a red balloon floating above the bed.

Tuck's Annual 1950 full of Star Turns! First story "Learning to Ride" by Elizabeth Anderson illustrated by Lionel Edwards, also contains flight to Cairo by Uncle Mac and Fortune's fool by Harold Napier. The Circus Comes to Town by Denis Constanduros with illustrations by John Kenney. A Ladybird book published c1957. Sammy the Shunter No 2 Sammy goes to the circus by Eileen Gibb, undated c1960s.

Rupert and Edward at the Circus undated c1973. Rupert Little Bear Library No. 4. Contains two stories - Rupert and Edward at the circus and Rupert and the birthday cake. Carol with the circus by Berenice E Lea, published in 1969.  Carol and her Dad are travelling with the MacNeill Circus because Carol's Dad looks after the animals. The circus comes to school by Syliva Little with illustrations by GilbertDunlop. The news that Manor School is about to close comes as something of a bomb-shell. It's particularly upsetting for Fran and Judy because they will be sent to new schools and lose touch with Menha, the Indian girl. The arrival of Potter's Magnificent World-Famous Circus and Banda the elephant provides the solution to all their problems. Rupert and Edward at the circus, 

Japhet & Happy Annual 1948. Lots of colourful picture strip stories drawn by James Francis Horrabin. Japhet and Happy started out as a newspaper cartoon originally appearing as the adventures of the Noah family in the Daily News during 1919 and then in the News Chronicle. Ernest and Celestine at the circus by Gabrielle Vincent published 1989. Ernest is a bear and Celestine a baby mouse. Ernest discovered Celestine while clearing rubbish from the streets and has looked after her ever since. In this story, Ernest promises Celestine a visit to the circus. In the attic is a costume that was once the trademark of Ernest the Clown. Ernest dons this attire and spruces up Celestine, and the two not only enjoy the scheduled circus acts, but they also entertain the audience with an impromptu act of their own.

The adventures of Goopy the personality pup by James Gilroy published in 1948. Illustrations are by Nigel Mould.  Goopy is a very intelligent but rather odd looking puppy! In this story, he performs in a circus, travels all over the world, flies in a balloon and meets the man in the moon and Father Christmas!

I’m not a big fan of the circus, but I do love the artwork on these colourful circus books. Do you enjoy going to the circus?


  1. Hi Barbara

    Lovely books. Some I've never heard of. I'm with you - not a circus fan but I appreciate the artwork.

    Sammy the Shunter is a book I've never seen before and at first glance reminded me of Thomas The Tank Engine, I very much like the strip book!!

    Thanks for sharing, I'm always seeing something I've never seen before on your blog.

  2. Such a wonderful post..fantastical books full of spirit and wonder..beautiful to gaze at! Thanks for sharing these marvelous gems!

  3. Awww these books are so adorable! My kids would love them! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Leigh Ann
    MaMa's Book Corner

  4. Such sweet books. I love the cover of the tiger one. Imagine riding a tiger.

  5. I loved the circus when I was small - there was always something exciting and magical about it and I loved the spangly costumes. These books really bring back the wonder of those days! I don't think I would go to one today though - its one of those things where I think the memories are precious and would be spoilt by reality and viewing something with the eyes of an adult.

  6. I alway hated the circus, for the animals. I want to see them free, and not in a cage or being clowns for people. I adore the Cirque du Soleil though!! I hope this comment will load, last times I couldn't log in...

  7. barbaraannefisher28 November 2012 at 22:41

    Hi Michelle,
    I’m with you on that – I like the artwork, but I’m not keen on the circus. I enjoy the clowns and high-wire acts but not the animals.

    The stories about Sammy the Shunter are very similar to Thomas but Sammy’s adventures take him all over the world while Thomas likes to stay closer to home.

    I'm glad you find something new when you visit because the same is true when I visit you.

  8. I have only ever been to the circus once as a very small child, don't think I have seen any advertised - are they still around? Oooh 15% off, I really shouldn't but will go and have a wee look


  9. These books look adorable! I loved the circus when I was little. It was always a magical time. Now I know more about them, so I wouldn't attend a circus with animals. I do think the artwork from the covers of the books looks beautiful. :)

  10. I haven't been to a circus but I love stories & films about them (and carnivals ~ are they the same?). The Ringling Brothers. Mabel Stark. But of course I'd hope the animals aren't treated cruelly. Hope to catch Cirque du Soleil one day. These books look wonderful, Barbara. A cat turning into a tiger and bringing the girl to the show! And Ernest and Celestine ... wonder what their impromptu act was!

  11. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:26

    Thanks Victoria. I get a great deal of pleasure from sharing so I’m glad you enjoyed them.

  12. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:27

    Hi Leigh Ann, happy to share. Thanks for calling in and leaving a comment.

  13. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:29

    Hello Donna, Riding a tame tiger would be a lot of fun – not sure I would want to try it with a wild one! Thanks for your comment.

  14. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:34

    Hi Sharon, I could not agree more! Back then everything about it felt magical and exciting, but as you get older and start thinking more about it some of the magic fades.

  15. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:39

    Hello Bobbi, I have to be honest and say the welfare of the animals didn’t occur to me when I was young. The only thing I could think of at the time was the excitement of going to the circus, but I feel very differently about it now. I would, however, love to see the Cirque de Soleil – one day maybe.

  16. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:41

    Hi Lainy, we do see posters advertising the circus occasionally so I’m sure they are still around.
    I hope you enjoy your look around the site. Thanks for calling in.

  17. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:46

    Hello Staphanie, it looks as though most of us feel the same way. It makes you wonder how circuses keep going. I would love to go again one day but not while there are animal acts.

  18. barbaraannefisher29 November 2012 at 16:59

    Hello Claudine, carnival does sometimes combine elements of the circus, together with street parties, floats and people dressing up. But they are held in the open air in a town or city with local people taking part. A circus is usually a travelling company of performers that includes clowns, musicians, trained animals, jugglers, etc.. It's normally held in a large tent (the big top), and the acts perform in a circular area at the centre of the tent. I hope to see the Cirque du Soleil one day too. It looks wonderful on TV.
    Glad you like the books, thanks for calling in.

  19. The art work is beautiful! I enjoyed the circus when I was small. Now that I know how most of the animals are treated, I would never go again. I have a few of these circus theme books, I found they seemed like propaganda for how wonderful the circus was and how the animals wanted to be there. Actually quite weird. Thanks for sharing these great books. The 'Tiger' books sounds adorable!

  20. As a child I loved the circus. In fact I loved the circus until I found out about some things like in the book "Water for Elephants" which is a historical fiction with some horrible elements of truth. I guess as we age our perspective switches and it's a shame because these children's books attest to the colors, the magic and the fun atmosphere all encapsulated under a tent. Amazing!

  21. barbaraannefisher30 November 2012 at 17:06

    Thanks Diane, I think they are beautiful too. I have always loved the excitement that surrounds the circus but not the use of animals. I think it will need to change and evolve to survive.

  22. barbaraannefisher30 November 2012 at 17:08

    Hello Eve, it is a shame, so much about the circus is fun and exciting – but certain elements really do need to change. I would be very happy to go and watch the other acts if they just stopped using animals.

  23. I feel like I just won the circus book lottery here! Each looks more enchanting than the rest!!

  24. barbaraannefisher9 January 2013 at 12:27

    Thank you, what a lovely comment! Do you have a blog? Please let me know if you do as I would love to visit. Barbara.


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Barbara xx