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CLOWNS ON VACATION
Written and illustrated by Nina Laden
ISBN# 0-8027-8780-0 (Hardcover)
ISBN# 0-8027-8781-9 (Reinforced)
Ages 2-6
32 pages
Published by Walker & Company 2002



When the circus is over,
After the standing ovation,
What do clowns do
When they go on vacation?

They make us laugh until our sides ache. But these hardworking clowns just need a break. Now the Big Top is folded, and their bags are all packed. The Clownmans are taking a break from their act. But they get tired of the sun. They need to have fun. Whether climbing a mountain or digging for treasure, the Clownmans always seem to have a nose for adventure. Wherever they go, whatever they do, they are always clowns through and through.

When clowns go on vacation, the whole world is a circus.

"What do clowns do to unwind? Following a family of performers permanently decked out in wildly patched outfits and bulb noses (even the dog), the author/illustrator of Bad Dog and other free-spirited romps proposes a more-or-less rhymed string of alternatives. Laden asks intriguing questions: 'Do they play in the sand / Or read in the shade? / Can clowns get a tan / And drink lemonade? When clowns get hungry, / What do they eat? / ...What's a clown's favorite treat?' Stretched out on a beach or shivering on an iceberg, visiting roadside attractions or trying to find them ('Welcome to LOST,' reads a billboard, 'Population: you'), climbing cliffs or exploring caves, Laden's motley vacationers, with a permanently nonplused elephant tagging along, caper through scenes replete with jokes both verbal (a beach novel bears a 'Quirkus Review' cover quote) and visual. In the end, it's back to the Big Top, though, thanks to a massive glue spill and other mishaps, the clowns make a late, not entirely controlled, entrance. Ladeeeeez and Gentlemen: better sit down, before you fall down laughing."
--Kirkus Reviews


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