Poppy’s Book of the Month: Mr Galliano’s Circus


By Poppy Hutchinson

Series: The Mr Galliano’s Circus Series
Main Characters: Jimmy and Lotta
Published: 1938
First Published By: George Newnes
Rating (Out of 5): 5

Jimmy Brown, a young schoolboy, from a rather poor family is the main character in this fantastic book; Mr Galliano’s Circus. His father is a carpenter and has been out of work for a year or so, though Enid does not mention why. Consequently, his wife has to go out cleaning and earns just enough money for them to live on. When we get to know the boy at the very start of the book he is a very good little boy, who appreciates all his parents do for him, and loves them very much. One day, Jimmy sees the circus passing through his town and is overwhelmed by the magnificence of the caravans, the animals and the fascinating people. There is a little girl who has an uncanny resemblance to Carlotta, the circus girl who appears in the St Clare’s books. She’s wild, full of surprises, flexible, very energetic, a great animal lover and warm hearted.

Jimmy runs home to his family and tells them all about the circus, but not how much he longs to go and see it, for he knows better than that and how much his mother works to get the money she earns. Secretly he wants to go to see the circus more than anything, and soon he ventures into the field where the circus folk are setting up. There he makes quite a few peculiar friends and is soon saving elephants, taking the terriers for their walks, helping backstage and making friends with Mr Galliano, the friendly ringmaster who gives him a ticket to the circus he longs for!

Jimmy attends the circus and is fascinated by the tricks, acrobatics and performers. He wishes dearly that he too could lead a circus life, perhaps learn some of the magnificent skills and befriend the amazing circus performers. Enid really brings this circus to life and I am almost watching it myself, sat in the audience. Jimmy’s dream soon comes true when the circus’s odd job man runs off one night with the money and Jimmy’s father is asked to be the carpenter. Jimmy then joins the circus, travelling in a small old caravan with much fun ahead of themselves, but you can read that for yourselves!

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 because of the fantastic characters which I can imagine perfectly and the beautiful description of the circus and the performances. The knowledge of the circus is incredible, it was as if Enid belonged to the circus herself! I would recommend this book to boys or girls of about 8 years, for there is a lot to understand about the circus and it may be difficult for children below this to understand. Happy reading, until next month!

First edition dustjacket illustrated by E.H. Davie

First edition dustjacket illustrated by E.H. Davie

Image from the Cave of Books
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