I haven’t done much on this challenge it quite a while, life got in the way unfortunately. But lately I can’t stop thinking about the exhibition at Seven Stories I went to with my Sister last year and I started the challenge again. Not reading much of Enid as a child, I decided to do this challenge, and half way through came a bit unstuck with things going on elsewhere and the style fo language she used. This book did this me to, along with how ridiculous it was that one day a family would just up and leave and go work and live with the circus. My brain was shouting out ‘this is completely bonkers!’ Then my sensible self said ‘remember it’s a kids book’ and the it got better from there. It’s actually got quite a few life lessons in it. Not judging a person before you get to know them. To allow people the chance to try something new and the best one was this
“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.”
I think it leads from these snippets here, where Jimmy encounters some horrid characters, not taking responsibility for their actions. Like the two brothers not practicing and trying to get Mr Brown in to trouble,
I wish I had read this as I child, or it was read to me, I think I would have loved it. I loved the interaction with the animals and how Jimmy’s patience got the chimpanzee to brush his teeth by figuring out it liked aniseed and putting it on the toothbrush, and how he looked after the dogs, especially when one fell ill. The best character has to be Mr Galliano himself. I loved how he was feared, yet saw the best in people and showed his soft side once in a while.
I loved how Jimmy and his father worked together, and how the little boy saved his money to buy stuff for Lotta and his Mum, and how when it came to payment he asked for a bigger caravan for his Mother as he felt she needed something as she wasn’t part of the circus but looked after him and his father. I could just squeeze him.
I think the one question we should ask ourselves once we read this is, should we be scared of something new, something that will change everything, a challenge, a completely different lifestyle, and I think it’s no, because if we don’t try we won’t know and we might just find something exciting, like book club. Oh and if I was to join the circus it probably be as a clumsy clown, I don’t think I could be a trapeze artist or ride the horses like Lotta. What would you be?
…and so on until the entire procession has trundled off down the street. The reader, who’s been along for the entire ride, gets the distinct feeling he’s been gently dropped off and must now watch as the circus moves away. If this were a movie, the audience would be lifting up above the street into the sky in one of those long crane-elevated shots…
“And we too must say good-bye; but if you hear of Mr Galliano’s Circus coming to your town, go and see how Jimmy and Lotta and Lucky are getting on. Good luck, Mr Galliano!”
Thank you for reading