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Join the Circus - Josh Selig

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Josh Selig, Melanie Pal / Paperback / Reading Level: Ages 4-8 / 24 Pages / Book is published 2008-12-23 by Simon Spotlight

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      08.11.2009 18:16
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      A great book for Wonder Pets fans

      The Wonder Pets are the current bane of my existence. Their annoying 10 minute long bouts of singing at least 3 times a day on my television literally do my head in, but for some reason my 3 year old adores them. And I mean big-style. He's got books, puzzles and even cuddly Ming-Ming and Linny toys to take to bed with him. For some reason unknown to myself, I decided it would be a good idea to get him a few Wonder Pets books as well, as if nearly an hour of the stuff wasn't enough, we could then have it at bedtime too... oh the JOY! As it turns out, he adores the book so it's worth it but it does mean I have to sing...

      The Wonder Pets are the latest American phenomenon to cross the pond over to the UK and seem to be steadily rising popularity amongst toddlers across the land. They are 3 classroom pets, Linny the Guinea Pig, Ming Ming Duckling and Turtle Tuck who double up as Wonder Pets who rescue animals in trouble. All of this is set to music so they sing almost everything that comes out of their mouths, but it's so catchy your child will memorise the songs in around 3 episodes and then sing them ALL. DAY. LONG. On repeat. Anyway, lots of merchandise is now available, and books is one of them.

      This book is called 'Wonder Pets Join The Circus' and is based on an extended episode of the same name. The book follows the format of the show - the characters spotting the train out of the classroom windown, leaving in the "Circus Boat" to go to the circus, rescuing the lioncub and then becoming circus acts themselves. Obviously it's a lot more edited than the TV episode, but the idea is the same and children will see the similarities and associate the two things.

      My first complaint about this book is the quality of the pages. It's actually an American publication so isn't the same quality of children's book I have come to expect from British books. The pages are quite thin and cheap feeling, and the cover isn't particularly thick either. However, the images used are great quality with lots of bright colour and they look like they are screen grabs from the TV show hence the clarity and photographic quality of them.

      The text used is quite small for a child's book so this is definitely one that will have to be read to your child by a grown-up. Also, they do tend to use black text on some dark backgrounds which can make reading the words sometimes a struggle unless you're in bright light which is a bit silly really... they could have used more white text to ease this problem. Anyway, the book progresses at a good pace, with the main 3 characters seen on every page and just enough text to hold the story together, usually 2 lines a page. There are some songs from the show in there which are in italics hinting you have to sing them which Harry and I do together.

      Harry has started to notice that bits of the story are slightly different to the one he watches on television but I just tell him they had to make it a bit shorter. This is a common occurence when publishers adapt television episodes into books, they have to change the story slightly to make it an acceptable length for a child's book. It doesn't bother me at all, but for on the ball children it may annoy them that small things have changed. For the money though, I can highly recommend this sweet little story to any fans of the Wonder Pets, and there are a good few more choices online too if you like this book.

      This book is a bargain at £2.40 delivered on Amazon, so they will make great stocking fillers for Christmas, which is what I am intending to do with the other books currently available. They are due to be publishers by British publishers early next year, but Harry won't want to wait that long! ISBN: 978-1416975816. 24 pages.

      Thank you for reading!

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