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The Travelling Circus

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Best Children's Animal Book

Best Illustrated Children's Ebook

Best Illustrated Children's Ebook

Story Monster Approved Award

Gallery and Reviews

Readers' Favorite 2017 Award Contest Winner

Reviewed by Jackie Ferrell for Readers' Favorite

A little boy and a folding circus tent is the focus of The Travelling Circus – a new children’s book by Mark Watson. As the little boy begins to have fun folding and unfolding his perfect gift of a circus tent, an imaginative story begins to take shape. The vibrant red and white circus tent visually grabs and holds the attention of young readers as Mark Watson uses his creative genius of rhyme and prose to create a new and magical book. From the description of the circus animals to the aromatic imagery of food, we are taken back in time to the circuses of old. With fairies in flight, to a beautifully detailed carousel horse and, finally, to the image of a curious, unusual and somewhat scary ringmaster, there is an energy that propels us through this story while we listen to the clever words of the ringmaster describing to the little boy what awaits him. As the ringmaster gently guides the little boy to the front of the circus tent, there is a curiosity and mystery about what just might come next.

With bold, delightful and spellbinding images by Drew Geraci, The Travelling Circus by Mark Watson brings to children a brand new story just perfect for bedtime reading. I wondered, as I read this adorable book, if this story actually took place in a small child's decorated bedroom, or was it the incredible imagination of a little boy’s dream brought to life by the perfect gift of a folding circus tent. I think children will be incredibly engaged and captivated by The Travelling Circus while parents discover that this latest children’s book by Mark Watson is a perfect, one-of-a-kind bedtime read.

‘The circus is in town!’



Author Mark Watson was born in England, and illustrator Pablo Michau in South Africa, both now live in Mataro, Spain where Mark teaches English and Pablo works as a freelance illustrator/graphic designer. After their first collaborations THE SHARK IN THE PARK and MILO & ME the two men committed to working exclusively on children's books. We, the readers, are the winners. Their shared sense of creativity and sensitivity as well as a natural sense of what will entertain a child and provide some important character building blocks is not only evident here- it shines! But now Mark strikes out on his own with THE TRAVELLING CIRCUS which now introduces fantasy rich illustrations by Drew Geraci, a world famous comic book artist and a new member of the children’s books brigade.

We meet a little boy who has received a foldout circus tent and is deliriously happy using it as a showcase for all his toys. One night he dreams that a circus is in town and when he awakens his room is full of his own circus with a Ringmaster who tells the boy that the circus performs each night in different places. The boy steps into the magic circus and has a splendid time, but when he awakes the next morning the travelling circus is gone – and only his own beloved circus ten and animals and toys remain. Or as the synopsis states, ‘A delightfully funny fairy tale that also manages to be deep, dark and haunting. This macabre, multi-layered bedtime story features stunning illustrations. Including a cover by the world famous comic book artist Drew Geraci and scintillating rhyme by master storyteller, Mark Watson.

Enchanting rhyming verse, exquisite illustrations and a heartwarming adventure that simply is restorative and makes the reader feel good. Searching for dreams - a great goal and a wonderful destination. Highly recommended for children and art loving adults.

By Barbara Mojica

A little boy receives a foldout circus tent as a birthday gift. He plays with nothing else, but reluctantly goes to sleep. He awakes to fairy lights and dancing stars. They urge him to enter the circus tent once more. The ringmaster persuades him to join the circus and regales him with tales of what he will see, hear and experience. This is my favorite aspect of the tale. Children experience sights and smells of cotton candy, ice cream, French fries and the like. Rhymes are spot on and the choice of words allow the reader to use all his senses to participate.

Not only will elementary school children enjoy the text, their eyes will feast on the exquisite graphics of Drew Geraci, reminiscent of comic book fantasy-like art. This adds to the dream-like theme of the tale.
Original and highly recommended.

A great book to discuss important dialogue with your children

By Skyward Me


This is a very well written book with a great rhyming scheme and beautiful bright illustrations.
My son really enjoyed it and we both appreciated the ending for different reasons.
I may have interpreted this book incorrectly but I believe the book is supposed to create a little fear (not unhealthy and something that is missing from todays children's books) and teaches a very valuable lesson. It created a very important dialogue with my son about what he thought happened after the book finished and whether he thought that was a good thing.
Highly recommended and be sure to use the window that the book creates to talk to your children!

Mark Hodder: Science fiction author, winner of the 2010 Philip K. Dick Award

What initially appears to be a straightforward tale delivers a sinister twist that is certain to capture kiddy imaginations, as will the sumptuous artwork with its eye-catching detail, richly atmospheric colour palette, and excellent use of light and shade. Kids will be happily enraptured, but be warned: their mummies and daddies might feel icy fingers tickling their spines!

Bull Terrier Gift

The little boy’s biggest and best present,
was an awesome, fold-out circus tent.
He put it up and played in it all day,
flatly refusing to tidy it away.

In the middle of the night,
when all were sleeping sweetly,
music came into his dreams,
although he slept so deeply.
He tossed and turned and mumbled,
then in his sleep he spoke,
"The Circus is in town!"
And with that he awoke...

"The detailed, spectacular and vibrantly colored illustrations make this original and gifted story come to life with a special magic. Mark Watson's children's books are a must read for all children."
Jackie Ferrell: Readers' Favorite.

Read this book for FREE with a KINDLE PRIME,

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