So, I have a confession to make: I really hate books with lots of repetition (like the House That Jack Built). Especially when I have to read them aloud. I know you’re supposed to encourage the kids to catch on to the repeated phrases and chant along, but I just never enjoyed that bit. When I’m alone, I just skip the repeated lines and try to get ahead to whatever’s supposed to be happening in the story. So, when I started to read Tree Ring Circus I thought, ‘Oh no. Is this going to be an Adam Rex book I’m going to have to decide I hate?’
Phew! This book is great! The rhymes work, the illustrations are whacked, some line repeat and some don’t, making reading this aloud (or silently) much more interesting. The kids can get in on the act when asked “Drumroll, please.” The artistic style completely evokes a circus and it ends with a predictable (yet satisfying) bang!