…Cirque de Ole
Dial Books for Young Readers
32 Pages Ages: 4 and up .
Opening Lines: Skippyjon Jones was a real High-Wire Henry. And that made his mama as worried as a worm in a wading pool.
“Oh, my fleas,” wailed Mama Junebug Jones. “Come down from that wire before you break all your bones!”
“He can’t hear you,” sang his sisters, Ju-Ju Bee, Jezebel, and Jilly Boo, “cause Skippy’s up in squirrely world.”
Skippyjon Jones, the blue-eyes Siamese kitty that thinks he’s a Chihuahua, is no longer In the Dog House. This time the Spanish-speaking kitty is off to the circus. As Skippito Friskito, he will sneak into the Cirque de Ole and perform one of the most daring, singularly thrilling, utterly fantastic, and most mind-bending act of all time: The Tiny Trembling Tower of Power.
Having practiced his high-wire act with the squirrels, Skippy is ready to step into center ring. But the Chimichango Gang of tiny Chihuahuas want Skippito to have a mucho grande costume, so they steal one from a sleeping dog. Soon, they enter center ring, one atop the other with Skippito as the foundation.
The crowds cheer The Tower of Power until . . . Putzi, the sleeping dog. Now Skippito must save the show or face Putzi Shtrungleboot the Strongdog—eighty pounds of mean—and he wants his costume back.
Believe it or not, this is the first Skippyjon Jones book I have read. Sad, I know. But good things are worth the wait and so are good stories. I love Skippyjon and his crazy desire to be a Chihuahua. I had always known dogs wanted to be cats, but never the other way around.
Skippyjon is one cute, blue-eyed beauty. I love his imagination, his risk taking, and his antics. Mama Junebug and his three sisters, Ju-Jubee, Jezebel, and Jilly Boo are great, too. The three girls seem to adore their brother and definitely support his dream. They call Skippyjon “chi-wu-lu,” much to Mama’s exasperation.
The illustrations, created with acrylics and pen and ink, are adorable. The detail is incredible. In the audience, farthest way from the circus ring, you can see the expression on the brown bear. When Jilly Boo takes off her tutu, Ms. Schachner does not show us a furry kitty. Nope, instead, we see Jilly Boo wearing a white, lacy apron.
Kids will love the book. In addition to the wonderful illustrations, the text is humorous and sprinkled with Spanish words—in context. If you read the sentence or group of sentences, the Spanish word is understandable and adds atmosphere to the story. There are no fleas about this book.
For those that like to be read to, want to do two things at once—not recmmended, or would like to hear the author, Ms. Schachner has included a CD of herself reading the story. This unexpected pleasure adds value to a franchise of stories already beloved. Skippyjon Jones: Cirque de Ole is one picture book you won’t want to scratch.
Author/Illustrator: Judy Schachner website booksite videos Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers website Release Date: October 16, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-8037-3782-2 Number of Pages: 32 Ages: 4 and up ..................
Copyright ©2012 by Judith Byron Schachner, used with permission