The Circus Ship

The Circus Ship

by Chris Van Dusen


$6.29 $6.99 Save 10% Current price is $6.29, Original price is $6.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, October 18


“The verse is sprightly, but the pictures are the true stunners.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own, but they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. So well do the critters blend in that when the greedy circus owner returns to claim them, villagers of all species conspire to outsmart the bloated blowhard. With buoyant rhymes and brilliantly caricatured illustrations evoking the early nineteenth century, Chris Van Dusen presents a hugely entertaining tale about the bonds of community—and a hidden-pictures spread for eagle-eyed readers of all ages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763655921
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 28,410
Product dimensions: 9.60(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Circus Ship 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
raven12882 More than 1 year ago
We originally borrowed this book from the library and the whole family loved it so much we bought a copy for our 3 year old son. I also sent a copy to my nephew. The illustrations are fun and vivid. The rhyme scheme is brilliant and it's very fun to read out loud. There is even a page near the end that is like a search and find game. My son loves to try to find all the animals. Chris Van Dusen is now my favorite children's book writer. I recommend all his books including "If I built a Car" and "If I built a House".
kidsbooksRmything More than 1 year ago
I have been reading picture books to my kids for over 16 years and professionally for almost as long and I can tell you with certainty that it is VERY difficult to write a story that rhymes and rhymes WELL. Van Dusen has done just this. His story is full of alliteration, internal rhymes and an overall great sound. I can read this book out loud and not even look at the text most of the time, the rhymes are so perfect! But that is only half of the brilliance of this book!!! Van Dusen's illustrations are INCREDIBLE!!! There is a two page spread that comes near the end of the book that always has my litter listeners getting as close to the book as possible - there are 15 circus animals hidden amongst a normal "main street" scene and the kids NEVER get tired of spotting them. I can read this book over and over quite happily! It makes a beautiful gift!
kiwi-mum More than 1 year ago
I have a girl of seven and a boy of eight and both loved it. The pictures are bright and funny and capture the children's imagination. The story has a flowing rhythm and rhyme that the children follow along with. When you want to encourage children to look at books and to start reading on their own this one is a winner.
karafrib on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What happens when a circus ship crashes in the ocean in the 1800¿s? Why, the animals swim to shore of course! Abandoned during the sinking of the ship by their cruel ring master, Mr. Paine, the animals from the ship in Chris Van Dusen¿s The Circus Ship swim ashore to a small town in Maine. Of course, the animals are quickly noticed by the townspeople, despite their efforts to fit in. Their reputation is not helped when they are found all over town in strange situations. After all, ¿¿Miss Fannie Feeney found, according to the rumors¿the silly little circus monkey swinging in her bloomers.¿ The animals are effectively shut out by the towns-people, until one day a fire breaks out in a house, trapping little Emma Rose inside. The valiant tiger, which had jumped through many fire rings during his time in the circus, comes to her rescue, thus turning the tide of the town¿s attitude toward the circus animals. But Mr. Paine soon comes looking for his animals because there is a show to do in Boston. What the townspeople do to protect their new friends is remarkable and absolutely hilarious.The Circus Ship is filled with witty rhyming prose and vivid, cartoon-like illustrations. Van Dusen makes the animals look loveable, and gives both people and animals wonderful facial expressions. A spread where the animals are hiding provides a wonderful picture searching opportunity. The plot of the story is fast-paced and entertaining. It is also important to note that the story is actually based on real events, which can be read about in the back of the book, though the animals never got as far as the town in the true story. Recommended for grades Pre-K-4.
dudley-_ More than 1 year ago
My Grandson had so much fun trying to find all the different animals on each of the pages. He also found it quite interesting that ladies wore bloomers under their skirts in the old days. He thought that would be quite cumbersome. Not his favorite Chris Van Dusen book, but very enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We bought this book for my son when he was 3, he's now 4 and he still loves this book! It's a rhyming book with an entertaining story and great pictures. My son loves this one page where you have to find the circus animals. We've bought this book for his friends, too.
nafyboocs More than 1 year ago
I have a 3 year old daughter and she requests that both her father and I both read this story to her EVERY night. It's a fun story and easy to read. She also loves looking for all the animals when they're hiding on the island. All in all a GREAT book. I definitely recommend it to anyone who reads to their children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnAbundanceofBooks More than 1 year ago
Jaunty rhymes take us through the story of fifteen circus animals who were abandoned by Mr. Paine, the circus owner, during the sinking of their ship. They swim through the night and finally make it to an island just before dawn. The exhausted animals wandered throughout the village looking for a place to rest (or some daisies to munch on). Unfortunately the poor villagers didn't know what to make of the tiger in the tulips, the python in the pantry, or the monkey swinging from the laundry line. People are upset with the animals, but this all changes when a shed catches fire with a child inside. The tiger saw the smoke and fire and it "triggered something in his head". He jumped into the burning shed and came back out with little Emma Rose. The townspeople now viewed the animals in a different light and the former circus animals became a part of the village. And just when it seems that nothing could possibly go wrong, they hear that Mr. Paine has learned that the animals survived and he's coming to take them back! Well, neither the villagers nor their new residents were going to take this lying down, so they hatched a plan. When the blowhard Mr. Paine comes striding into the village demanding his animals back, he runs into a slight problem. He can't seem to find his missing fifteen animals. There's a great double spread illustration that has all fifteen animals hiding in plain sight. My students had a fun trying to find them all (the cheetah and the alligator were the hardest!). Paine tears through the town looking for his performers but has to give up when his boat takes off without him. The brightly colored illustrations are so wonderfully detailed. This is a great book to look at on your own in order to find all the animals and little surprises Van Dusen has sprinkled throughout. While some might worry that The Circus Ship might be a little too dark for younger children, I read it to my 5 and 6 year-olds and they absolutely loved it. Mr. Paine is easily identified as the bad guy and the animals all get a happily ever after. There is an author's note at the back of the book telling of the story of the Royal Tar, the circus ship that inspired the book but had a much sadder ending. I also shared this information with my students, acknowledged it was sad, but that the author had made a story where all of the animals get a happy ending. Kids were dragging their parents in after school to checkout the book.