Step right up and see the best children's book ever to captivate the minds and hearts of adults!
That is how the ballyhoo barker in Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? might attract readers to this brilliant and colorful poster book by Carlyn Beccia.
While this book is presented as an alphabet book for grades 1-5, it is just as attractive and enjoyable as an adult's coffee table book. Beccia's posters represent the last 200 years of circus legends, along with humorous rhymes and fascinating historical information. It all made me forget that this is an alphabet book! It is more like a museum on the printed page. The collection of posters inside is a good introduction to circus history for anyone. My grandfather and father excitedly waited for the circus trains to come to town in eastern Ohio in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They met the train with their friends and helped set up the tents and care for the elephants, earning free tickets to the shows. Today, reading Beccia's book, I see part of what they experienced--and it is priceless.
This book contains so much intriguing material that I want to visit the circus museums in the United States and read the related Web sites. The content will likely move children in the same direction and increase their reading interests. Its posters and text describe the Strongman, the Bearded Lady, the Siamese Twins, Patty's Dancing Pigs, flea circuses, boxing kangaroos, tigers, elephants, parades, and acrobats that hang by their hair. It even shows The Flying Wallendas, whom I have seen on TV.
Carlyn Beccia is a talented children's book illustrator that stretched her talent to provide this entertaining volume. In it, she has included material from P.T. Barnum, four historical books about circus histories, an A & E Television Network special called Histories Mysteries: Circus Freaks and Sideshows, and The Dime Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Armchair Interviews says: Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? is a priceless treat for readers of all ages and a collection that will become a classic to hand down through the generations.