The Farmer and the Circus
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Marla Frazee's The Farmer and the Circus is the third and final book in a worldless trilogy about an isolated farmer who encounters some unusual visitors from a traveling circus. In Book 1, a little boy clown comes to his farm, then in Book 2, a monkey from the same circus train arrives. Here in Book 3, the farmer goes to the circus and meets a very special clown, who appears to be the mom of the little boy clown who wandered into his farm from the circus train. The classic-looking art is wonderful, as always, and there are lots of charming moments to follow and describe as the story progresses.
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What's the Story?
THE FARMER AND THE CIRCUS begins with the little boy clown from Book 1 refusing to wear the red long johns his mama clown offers him, instead digging into his costume trunk to find black overalls to go with the black farmer's hat he got from his host when they exchanged hats as he departed the farm in Book 1. He then proceeds to recount to the monkey from Book 2 all the things the farmer showed him how to do -- move hay with a pitchfok, milk a cow (he demonstates on the circus elephant), play music. After the clowns erect their big tent for the show, guess who comes walking up -- the farmer, wearing the boy clown's red hat. The boy introduces the farmer to his mom (who's in full clown makeup), and they all -- including the monkey -- have fun together. The farmer and the mom clown even dance together under the stars. The farmer returns on other visits, bringing flowers and a pie, and they all enjoy an evening picnic under the stars, with the farrmer playing his banjo and everyone singing along. In the end, we find out just how close they've gotten.
Is It Any Good?
This charming finale wraps up the series and pivots from a freindship tale into a love story. It's a sweet, unexpected development that's as easy to go along with as a farmer getting out of his comfort zone to befriend a lost little boy clown and later his rambunctious monkey. Kids will have fun narrating the story themsleves as they follow each development in the relationships through pictures alone.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the relationships in The Farmer and the Circus. Who does the monkey like to play with? Who does the little boy want to dress up like? How does the farmer feel about the mom clown?
Did you read the first two books in the series? If so, are you happy about how the story ends in the third one?
What's it like to read a story with no words? Is it easy to follow the story just through the pictures? What's it like to tell the story out loud yourself as you turn the pages? Try telling a story through pictures for someone else to read.
- Author: Marla Frazee
- Illustrator: Marla Frazee
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Beach Lane
- Publication date: April 6, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 15, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
The Farmer and the Clown
Two strangers form an unlikely bond in sweet wordless tale.
The Farmer and the Monkey
Farmer gets a second unexpected circus guest in fun sequel.
Flora and the Peacocks
Gorgeous look at negotiating a three-way friendship.
For kids who love picture books and wordless stories
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