Sidewalk Circus

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Sidewalk Circus Book Poster Image
Waiting kids see circus acts with imaginations.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this imaginative book holds nothing offensive for families.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Children bored waiting at the bus stop discover a circus is playing out right in front of them in their everyday world.

Is it any good?

Veteran author Paul Fleischman joins veteran illustrator Kevin Hawkes to create a magical book rooted in realism. A hint of what the book holds is on the cover: A yawning sign-hanger looks ordinary, but his shadow on the wall turns him into a shouting ringleader. That's the message here: excitement is where you find it!

Not quite a wordless picture book, the story wanders across the page in the form of the lit-up theater marquee and the signs hoisted by the sign-hanger. As the words appear, the action follows, and suddenly an everyday delivery man becomes a strongman and jugglers appear in a pizza shop window. Pre-readers will enjoy poring over the detailed pictures since the words aren't necessary to catch the action.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about new ways of seeing the world. Kids can try finding their own "sidewalk circus" next time they're stuck waiting for a bus, standing in line at the bank, or helping parents grocery shop. Parents can talk about how imagination can make for great entertainment no matter how ordinary the day.

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate