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Circus Books for Preschoolers

Preschoolers tend to pay more attention to books when they are written about things that they like, like the circus! And who could blame them, what’s not to love about the circus? Lion tamers, tightrope walkers, and even a trapeze artist all under the big top tent! Here are some circus books for preschoolers that your kids will love.

Circus sign with a popcorn maker near it

Circus Books

Reading great books out loud to you child is a great way to get them interested in stories and to use their imagination. Diving into their favorite book gives them a chance to write their own imaginative story that transports them into an exciting space that can be anything they want it to be.

Whether it includes circus acts or allows them to be a part of the show with their very own circus elephant, the sky’s the limit in their circus tent!

Here are some of our favorite children’s books that your little boy or little girl will love:

Peter Spier’s Circus is a book about all the things necessary to put on a circus from setting up the big top, to how the performers travel the world, with lots of details leading up to the big performance! Your preschooler will enjoy reading this colorful circus book. 

tightrope walkers performing at the circus

Dr. Seuss wrote a circus book that your children will love! If I Ran the Circus is a rhyming classic from the imagination of Dr. Seuss. The simple text is easy to follow and is all about Morris McGurk and his idea to turn a vacant lot into the Circus McGurkus, the world’s greatest show. With performances by the Juggling Jot and the drum-tummied snum, this classic book is a hit for kids of all ages. 

Miss Bindergarten Plans a Circus with Kindergarten by Joseph Slate is all about how Miss Bindergarten and her kindergarten class plan a circus for the school, complete with performances, and snacks for the big day. Your preschooler will love this book about planning a circus, all while refreshing their memory about the letters of the alphabet. 

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen is a tale of circus animals whose circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine. The frightened circus animals make friends with the townsfolk, who later help them hide from the greedy circus owner. Filled with lots of rhymes and intricate illustrations, this story of community and supporting your friends is a must have for any list of circus books! 

Sandy’s Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone is another great circus book that also happens to be a true story. Young children will love learning about Alexander (Sandy) Calder and his wire circus sculptures. You could even introduce this book before providing an assortment of materials for your preschoolers to make their own circus! 

circus ballerina performing with dogs dancing

If you are looking for a fabulous picture book about the circus then you need a copy of The Secret Circus by Johanna Wright. Under the sparkling lights of Paris, there is a circus so secret that only the mice know about it. Complete with tiny acrobats forming little mice pyramids, and trained house cats with amazing illustrations this is a favorite children’s book with a circus theme. 

You See a Circus I See… by Mike Downs is a book about how circus performers are just like you and me. Told by a young acrobat who takes his friends through the circus to show that the big, scary strongman is just a regular man, and the trapeze artists are parents who make their kids do their homework every day even though they live under the big top! A great story about how things are not always what they seem, and that home is where your friends and family are. 

trapese artist at the circus

Circus Ideas

Dive into the circus theme with not only books, but fun activities that really bring the whole lesson together. There are so many quick and easy things you can do with your little one like painting on a clown face and performing a silly act, writing a short story that tells about your child’s perfect day at the circus, or even make your very own circus animals out of paper plates.

Circus Activities

There’s no limit to what you can do with some imagination! You’ll also want to explore more with these circus themed activities to help round out your lessons with fun activities your kids can’t wait to do!

These are just a sampling of the amazing circus themed books available for preschoolers and young readers. These books are perfect for a circus themed unit in the classroom or at home, and there are lots of fun craft and snack activities that you can find to go with them.

Which of these circus books for preschoolers are you going to read first? 

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