Don’t Put Yourself Down in Circus Town
Frank J. Sileo, Author
Sue Cornelison, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Feb. 28, 2015
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Building self-confidence, Making mistakes, Developing positive beliefs
Opening: Ringmaster Rick was excited for the big show at Circus Town! He visited the big tent to see all the performers practicing their acts.
Book Jacket Synopsis: Welcome to Circus Town, where it’s okay to bumble, stumble, and fumble. But no put downs! Give yourself a break! Everyone makes mistakes! Join Ringmaster Rick, Larry the Lion Tamer, Polka Dot Patti, and world-famous trapeze artists Jan and Juanita as they practice more, ask for help, think helpful thoughts, and bounce back from mistakes and mishaps to feel more confident!
Why I like this book:
Ringmaster Rick calls an emergency meeting after overhearing Circus Town’s several performers put themselves down for mistakes made while rehearsing their acts. “I’m the worst lion tamer…I can’t do this!…I am such a loser!…I’m such a klutz!…” Does this self-defeating statement sound familiar? This realistic story about making mistakes is something children can relate to as they participate in sports, dance, painting/drawing, practicing a musical instruments, helping in the kitchen and doing chores. I especially resonate with author Frank Sileo’s themes, “anyone can make a mistake and that self-defeating behavior is like bullying yourself.” Sue Cornelison’s illustrations are bold, colorful and very expressive. They set the mood for the story and change as the story progresses. This is another important book for parents to have at home and for teachers to put on their bookshelves to help boost self-esteem in children. Well done!
Resources: The book includes a Note to Parents and Other Caregivers with more information and strategies for fostering self-confidence in children and helping them develop positive feelings and beliefs about themselves.