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Bring the Circus home with these fun stories!

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Are your kids obsessed with the circus? I bet they are! But why? Bright lights, big tents, exciting performances and lots of sweets! What's not to love? Chances are, you haven't been to the circus recently, but not to worry, just bring the circus home with a fun circus story!

Here are a few of our favorite circus stories for kids.

"You See A Circus, I See..."

by Mike Downs

This book follows along with a traveling family circus. It is narrated by a young boy who introduces each member of his family, telling us about their big top, circus personas, and then humanizes them for the reader by telling us something more 'normal' and relatable. It reminds the reader that even circus performers are just like us.

"If I Ran The Circus"

by Dr. Seuss

This has always been a favorite of mine, but get ready, it's a tongue twister! The story is about a boy who dreams of creating his own circus. In his mind, the circus will take place behind a local store and the store owner will be the start of the show. He dreams of lots of silly scenarios that'll keep your kiddo laughing. True to Dr. Suess's style, the story is whimsical and funny with plenty of made-up words. This circus story will have your kids smiling ear to ear.

"The Circus Ship"

by Chris Van Dusen

The story follows a circus heading for Boston by ship. The story takes a dark turn as the ship begins to sink. All of the animals must swim to escape certain death. Not to worry, the story quickly turns around again for the better - but the animals aren't out of the woods yet. A few more adventures await them. At one point, all of the animals have to hide and the reader gets to try to find all of them hidden on the page, which is super fun and a bit challenging! Overall, this is one of my favorites and is really a heartwarming story.

"If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't"

by Elise Parsley

This book is part of a popular series. You may also recognize the other titles, 'If You Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!' and 'If You Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don't!'. Most of our students know and love those books, so this was an instant favorite in our class. It follows a child as they imagine lots of circus shenanigans happening inside a library, as you might have guessed, they decided it's for the best if they just 'DON'T!'

"Sidewalk Circus"

by Paul Fleischman & Kevin Hawkes

This is a picture book that is beautifully illustrated. The story has very few written words. It is a great book for pre-reading kids or you can encourage kids to come up with the words to the story themselves and get creative about what is happening. It is about a girl watching people plastering fliers for a circus all over town while observing how everyday occurrences are like an actual circus.

"Circus in the Sky"

by Nancy Guettier

This is the least 'circus-y' of the list but it is a really good one - so I kept it on my list. This book compares the constellations of the night sky to acts in a circus. The reader will learn all about constellations through a fun, rhyming patterns, and beautiful imagery. Beware, some of the names are a bit tough to read! The best part of this book, in my opinion, is the gorgeous watercolor illustrations. A nice bonus is that the back of the book lists all of the constellations with names and images.

That concludes our list of favorite circus stories. Which are your favorite(s) circus stories? Did we leave anything off the list? Let us know in the comments below!


If your kiddos LOVE the circus, check out our Hula Hoop and Circus camp! It's packed full of 8 days of self-guided videos. Learn to hula hoop and juggle from professionals! Plus tons of crafts and you guessed it, storytime with some of these titles and more!

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