Make Your Own Circus


55 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88899-015-4





Reviewed by Sheila Martindale

Sheila Martindale is poetry editor of Canadian Author and Bookman and
author of No Greater Love, her sixth collection of poetry.


This is a particularly interesting “how to” book for youngsters. The tone of Alfaenger’s prose hits a nice balance somewhere between “Pollyanna” enthusiasm and art class instruction. No credits are given for illustrations or translation, so we can assume that the author is also responsible for these. The ideas outlined here should inspire creativity in children and teens of any age. Suggestions are made on how to construct the masks and costumes for various animal and human characters, but no step-by-step directions are given, leaving an open field for one’s own ideas. There are practical hints also on how to set up the ring, the “big top,” and other props. But the most important factor is the way we are shown how to be that animal or person, how to get inside the skin and personality of what we are going to portray.

This book could be enormously useful to craft leaders at summer camps, and to directors of practical and theatre art in schools. Or it can be read, enjoyed, and put to use by individuals or groups working alone or together.

A helpful tool for anyone who feels that children need something other than computers in their work and play.


Alfaenger, Peter K., “Make Your Own Circus,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,