The Ball at the Circus

Jennifer Corcoran and Jennifer M. Perkins , illustrated by Laraib Irshad

Publisher: Willard Beach Publishing Pages: 31 Price: (paperback) $11.99 ISBN: 9798988161202 Reviewed: April, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

In Jennifer Corcoran and Jennifer M. Perkins’ picture book, The Ball at the Circus, a ringmaster and a group of daring circus animals stand atop each other to create a whimsical, wobbly tower.

The fun starts with a single, colorful, striped circus ball. “This is the ball at the circus,” reads the text. On the next page, readers encounter a sweet-eyed elephant impressively balancing on top. “This is the elephant with two big tusks, that balances on the ball at the circus,” we are told. Next comes a tall giraffe with a worried look that suggests “Hmm, I’m not sure this is a good idea…” Atop the giraffe sits a proud lion with a black top hat. And then, a smiling seal and a ringmaster sporting a handlebar mustache.

With each turn of the page, another participant joins the vertical parade. As the number of acrobats grow, so too does the sentence length as the descriptions of the animals accumulate, reminiscent of The House That Jack Built. The grand finale comes when a nettlesome fly annoys the big brown bear sitting at the top, and the acrobats all tumble to the ground— only to leave the circus ball all alone once again on the final page.

Corcoran’s and Perkins’ wonderful fluid rhyming and bouncy tempo will be music to little ears: “This is the lion, so fierce/ and strong, that sits on the/ giraffe with a neck so long,/ that stands on the/ elephant with two big/ tusks, that balances on the ball at the circus.” Laraib Irshad’s illustrations have an appealing soft palette and the charming, expressive characters beautifully support the text.

With a simple plot, amusing surprise ending, and catchy cadence, this book will delight older readers as well as their young listeners—leaving all hoping this author/illustrator team will offer another title soon!

Also available in hardcover.

Author's Current Residence
Palm Bay, Florida
Available to buy at: