"Booklist" Book Feature
Apps, Jerry. Tents, Tigers, and the Ringling Brothers. 2006. 80p. illus. index. Wisconsin Historical Society, paper, $12.95 (9780870203749). 791.309. Gr. 4-7.
The Ringling brothers grew up in a Mississippi river town where every summer they saw circuses, which were brought to the town on riverboats. Several of the seven brothers became performers themselves, and they dreamed of owning a circus. Eventually, all of the brothers became involved in the circus enterprise, each taking a different business role. Much of this book, which is part of the Badger Biography Series, focuses on the Ringlings' day-to-day struggles to keep the circus going as they traveled from town to town in wagons and, later, in railcars. Additional chapters describe the care of the animals and the circus' winter quarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Black-and-white period photographs appear on nearly every page and illuminate almost every activity, from the raising of the big top to the training of the elephants. Back pages include suggested classroom activities, further readings, and a concise, descriptive paragraph about each brother. An illuminating account of nineteenth-century circus life for reports or browsing.
Todd Morning, Booklist, 02/15/2007