Circus Week, Day 5

And now, something for the grown-ups.  (And one kiddie movie, because I just can't not feature it.)

Circus, Carnival, & Sideshow-Related Books, Fiction and Non-Fiction
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (of course)                                  
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others by Daniel Mannix
Under the Big Top: A Season With the Circus by Bruce Feiler
The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy by Stewart O'Nan (warning: very disturbing and sad) 

And I have not yet read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.  People who know me tell me I will love it.  I'll get to it by the end of the year, I hope.

Circus, Carnival, & Sideshow-Related Viewing
Freaks (1932), directed by Tod Browning

The Wedding Feast scene
The Unknown (1927), also directed by Tod Browning, starring Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford
a clip from The Unknown 
Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), directed by Herbert Brenon, also starring Lon Chaney with a very young Loretta Young (you may watch the whole movie, sans soundtrack, on YouTube)
He Who Gets Slapped (1924), directed by Victor Sjostrom, once again starring my hero, Lon Chaney, alongside Norma Shearer and John Gilbert.  This was a very prestigious film, based on a famous Russian play.  It is also one of my very favorite movies.   And by the way - I love old-fashioned clowns!
a clip from He Who Gets Slapped
Carnivale (2003-2005), HBO.  A traveling carnival, but it shares an atmosphere with the best of the darker circus movies.  
opening credits
"Humbug," The X-Files, Season 2, Episode 20.  My favorite X-Files episode.  (The X-Files is currently available for streaming on Netflix.)  
a famous little clip from my favorite episode
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988), directed by Stephen Chiodo.  Yep, I went there.
And last, I did say I had one more kiddie movie that I just had to feature.  Because it's my favorite Disney movie of all time - one of my favorite movies of all time - and my favorite circus movie, too.
What is there not to love about Dumbo (1941)?  I think it's the perfect Disney movie.  You can actually find the whole movie on YouTube, but I'm pretty sure the Disney company might have a problem with that. 
I know I left plenty off this list, and feel free to throw in your favorites, too - please!

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Circus Week, Day 4

First of all, I must pause to say...

Happy Seventh Birthday, Big Sis!

My first-born through the years:  at 9 months, 2 years, a few days before her 4th birthday (first day of preschool!) and now.

We're bringing cupcakes to her class near the end of the school day, but while we're at home, we are working on bringing an over-the-top big top shindig to life.

And I must say, this is the last one for a long time.  Big party, I mean.

The hubby and I have been hard at work, making stuff...

And the dollar section of Michael's was very handy, too.  My friend Wendi, who is making Big Sis's cake and cookies, gave me heads-up last spring.

Masks, paper lanterns, blank books, and goodie bags from the $1 section of Michael's.

We also hit the party supply section of Target.  I love the new Spritz line of party stuff, and honestly, I'm relieved to not make a paper banner this year.

Circus party supplies from Target.

And last, I placed an order with Oriental Trading Company.

Circus stampers, banners, stickers, and circus-theme rubber duckies from Oriental Trading.

We didn't get everything at once.  I've been stocking up since spring.  We are, however, making everything at once because we're CRAZY.

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Circus Week, Day 3

More picture books!  This time of the fictional variety.

I was going to feature a whole stack of picture books from the library and our home, but I have only been allowed to read one book, over and over, to the girls.

Circus Caps for Sale by Esphyr Sobodkina.  New York: HarperCollins, 1967.

Circus Caps for Sale is Esphyr Slobodkina's sequel to her classic Caps for Sale.  This book is a favorite of both my daughters.  There was much squealing when they pulled it from the library bag.  (Yes, I ventured there without them this weekend.)

The little peddler from the first book goes out with his stack of caps to sell them in town.  But no one is about - they are all at the fair!  At the fair, there is a circus, and no one can hear the peddler over the noise of the circus parade.

An elephant steals a cap from the peddler, but upsets the whole stack of caps.  The jugglers and acrobats grab the caps, and the poor peddler thinks the caps are goners.

I love the look of Slobodkina's elephant!

Finally, after determining that no one in the circus can balance the caps like the peddler, the peddler is hired to wear his tower of caps in the circus as an act.

Little Sis was so excited to see this book!

You may recall that I used it for a storytime at my former place of business last year.

 Little Sis hates having her picture taken.

Other books I had planned to feature:

If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss
Circus Train by Jos. A. Smith 
Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer 
                ...  which contains my favorite illustration of Olivia's bedroom:

I love the Eleanor Roosevelt poster in Olivia's room!!!

And there are so many more great circus books out there.  Feel free to name your favorites in the comments.  

Circus Week, Day 2

Some nonfiction books about circuses for kids!

All of these came courtesy of our local library.

Who Walks the Tightrope? Working at a Circus by Mary Meinking.  Chicago: Raintree, 2011.
The Circus Comes Home: When the Greatest Show on Earth Rode the Rails by Lois Duncan.  Photographs by Joseph Janney Steinmetz.  New York: Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 1993.

Circus: An Album by Linda Granfield.  New York: DK Publishing, 1998.

More after the jump...

Circus Party Week, Day One

Slowly getting into the mood for our Saturday circus/carnival birthday party!  It's super-hot today, but it's supposed to be beautiful by the end of the week.  Unfortunately, the nasty heat and bad allergies are keeping the daughters inside today, but they cleaned up their rooms yesterday and today, I'm letting them have some DVD time while I work on the kitchen and bathroom.  (FUN.  NOT.)  I've also been experiencing some internet issues the past couple of days, so I thought I'd share a movie today.

I've mentioned before that Big Sis is my silent movie buddy.  For the past three years, she's joined me at the Kansas Silent Film Festival in Topeka.  The second year, the hubby and Little Sis came along, but Little Sis wasn't in the mood to sit through a bunch of old movies, and they wound up having to leave the concert hall. One of the movies they missed that year was Charlie Chaplin's The Circus.  

The Circus was released in 1928, and was a difficult production for Chaplin.  It was made between the better-known The Gold Rush (1925) and City Lights (1931), and isn't mentioned often on lists of Chaplin's best work.  However, for sheer laughs and entertainment, it's hard to beat The Circus.  It's light on pathos and sentimentality, and it's a fabulous introduction to silent comedy for kids.  Turner Classic Movies even featured it on their Essentials, Jr. series this summer.

Big Sis was beside herself with excitement when, upon returning home from the festival, I showed her how we already owned The Circus.  It's on one of the Chaplin featured film boxed sets I own.  She was able to show it to Little Sis one day, who ended up enjoying it after all.

And the scene in the thumbnail of the video, with the lion?  THE BEST.

In fact, let's just add that scene to this post by itself.  Even if you don't watch the whole movie, this scene is fabulous!

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