I read this book with my daughter, Miss Eleven, and we both really enjoyed it – especially the magic and time traveling elements. A ‘content warning’ at the beginning of the book reads:
‘Warning, this book contains far more knowledge and learning than any children’s book should ever rightly contain. In fact, it might be a gateway to ‘actual school work’ which can be highly dangerous because a passion for learning is contagious.’
And it’s true. The book contains many educational facts throughout – snuck into the storyline in the most charming way. Making appearances thanks to time travel are Nikola Tesla (electricity genius) and Diogenes (ancient Greek philosopher), and I was impressed with the scope of other concepts covered – written in a fun and imaginative way. At the rear of the book are plenty of extension activities, and a list where the book ties in with the Australian Curriculum (ranging from year three to year seven). The quiz at the end was inspired. What a wonderful sense of humour the author has – which she has woven through the whole book.
This is a perfect read for children fortunate enough to be home-schooled, as the three main characters in the story – Zandee, Tobelia and Kadin – live in a circus and never have to go to school. They learn their lessons in a less structured and more exciting environment, and the information they learn along the way is transferred to the reader. However, I believe the book will appeal to all children with an independent spirit, and a curious nature – regardless of where they attend school.
One of the most delightful things about this book as that it is a family affair. The illustrations were drawn by the author’s daughter, Xanthe Turner. At fifteen years old, she has her own website (click here – it’s definitely worth checking out), and is a great role model for others – showing young people what can be done when you put your mind to it.
$2.99 for an ebook or $16.99 for a hard copy (click here for the purchase link), is a small price to pay for spending time in the circus with the wonderful Zany children, learning cool facts along the way. Get in quick though – I understand book two is on its way!