The Circus Book
Rosemary Smith with illustrations by Sari/ published 1946 by John Martin's House
My mom's name is scrawled inside the front cover in pencil, but every friend who walks in her house and casually picks this one up has commented that the pictures are a wee bit creepy (this is probably the least creepy drawing of the lot). True, true, but my son still digs it because it is about the circus and we all know what the circus has... animals. And of course ~ hurrah ~ it begins with a parade...
A queer creature came running down Beecher Street. It looked sort of like a bird, but it was as big as a man. It seemed to be in a great hurry. All the people watched it. "Look at the duck!" cried Danny. "That's not a duck," said Buddy Hooper. He was two years older than Danny, so he knew.
Men in ostrich suits, hilarious fat ladies, too tall bean poles (what's up with that wee little cane anyway?), monkeys on camels.... this book has it all. Obviously from a less PC time, my son enjoys the drawing of the bear riding the bike. I haven't been able to find much on the author or illustrator, but the publisher (which I'd never heard of) seems to have a nice backlist that I might have to check out.... when I get back to thrift store combing and eBaying.... 21 days and counting!