Read aloud books for kids: Circus Ship


Books for kids like The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen are great stories to read aloud with your kids. Melissa Young from Sweet on Books explains why:

What You Need to Know:
• Circus Ship is brilliantly written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, the illustrator of Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson books.
• This is beautifully illustrated and rhyming tale of the connection between a whole town and a large group of circus animals who wash ashore.
• Van Dusen’s language is lovely, and his illustrations are stunning. The way he is able to convey emotion in drawing their body language and facial expression is nothing short of genius. It is a visual delight.

When a circus ship runs aground in thick fog and sinks, the greedy and demanding circus boss, Mr. Paine, orders the Captain to let the animals drown and demands the Captain row only him to safety. The animals swim all night and wash ashore in a coastal Maine town, where the townspeople are quite surprised to find animals all around; “There’s a tiger in the tulips!”, “There’s a lion on the lawn!” and so on. The townspeople are never afraid, but they do find the animals a nuisance. However, when the Tiger makes a daring rescue and saves little Emma Rose, everything changes. They live side by side happily. So when Mr. Paine comes marching into town demanding his circus animals back, they band together to hide the animals. “No animal that came ashore would sail off with that man.”

I realize as I write this, it may sound like a scary story, but it is not scary at all. The way Van Dusen has written the rhyming language, and especially the way he has drawn the characters, he has created an enjoyable and suspenseful read, but never scary. This would make a wonderful read aloud with young children all the way up to the early grades. The spread where the town is hiding the animals has provided me and my five year old hours of entertainment. This is a picture book to have on your shelf, truly worth purchasing…enjoy!

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