The Dragon Whistler

The Dragon Whistler
Now available in paperback.


Picture Book: CIRCUS TRAIN by Jennifer Cole Judd (Ill. by Melanie Matthews)

I don't often post about picture books, but I found CIRCUS TRAIN (2015, TWO LIONS) quite adorable. Yes, the author is a dear friend of mine, but that aside, CIRCUS TRAIN takes the reader someplace special simply by rolling into town.

Jennifer Cole Judd demonstrated her penchant for the ghoulishly creepy with AN EYEBALL IN MY GARDEN: AND OTHER SPINE-TINGLING POEMS (co-edited with Laura Wynkoop) but here she gives us a nostalgic return to a simpler world.

Under the bold-striped big top, clowns cars, trapeze artists and cotton candy vendors spin an atmosphere that will capture the imagination of children (and their parents who look back fondly on such times). When roses rain down on the ringmaster, there's a distinctive note of melancholy as the train is packed back up to head to the next stop.

Matthews' bright and joyful illustrations perfectly complement Judd's rhymes, bridging the decades to make an old-school circus relevant to 21st century kids. Ideal for kids 2 - 6. Highly recommended.

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