Reading with Ringling at the Library

“Keep the circus going inside you, keep it going, don’t take anything too seriously, it’ll all work out in the end.” – David Niven

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is thrilled to announce an exciting new program, Reading with Ringling! Here’s how it works: A child enters any library in Madison County and asks to be part of the Reading with Ringling program. He/She will receive a clown nose, a bookmark with Circus themed books, and a reading log. On the log are five circus elephants. The child tracks their reading and for every hour they read, they color in an elephant. When all five elephants are colored in (meaning the child has read for five hours), the log is returned to the Library. The child will be given a voucher that can be exchanged at the VBC for a free Circus Ticket.

The Fine Print

This program is available to any child under the age of 18. We ask that children get only one ticket voucher per child please. This is to make sure that we have enough to go around! The voucher is simply a coupon and will not get you access to the show. Vouchers must be exchanged at the VBC box office for an actual ticket with seating information. The circus will be in town April 26-29 and children may read and receive vouchers until April 25.

Why are we asking children to read for five hours? The Reading Foundation recommends that children read/have an adult read to them twenty minutes a day. Twenty minutes of reading a day prepares children for literacy or helps establish and grow levels of literacy. Assuming a child reads/is read to for twenty minutes, six days a week they should be able to earn a circus ticket in two and a half weeks.

Check at your local library for more information about potential Circus themed storytimes, programs, or prize drawings!

Want to start reading, but need some inspiration? Check out the Circus themed reading list below, and find them in the library’s catalogue online:

Appaloosa Zebra: A Horse Lover’s Alphabet by Jessie Haas


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Baby Alligator by Ginger L. Clerke

Be a Clown: Techniques from a Real Clown by Ron Burgess

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Circus Clown by David Adler

Circus Fun by Margaret Hillert

Circus Train by Joseph A. Smith

Clifford At The Circus by Norman Bridwell

Emeline At The Circus by Marjorie Priceman


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A Field Full Of Horses by Peter Hansard

The Greatest Show On Earth by John Prater

How the Camel Got It’s Hump by Justine and Ron Fontes

How the Zebra Got It’s Stripes by Justine and Ron Fontes

If I Ran The Circus by Dr. Seuss

Oliver by Sid Hoff


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Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer

Peter Spier’s Circus! by Peter Spier

Pippi Goes To The Circus by Astrid Lindgren

The Circus Comes Home by Lois Ducan

The Great and Only Barnum : the tremendous, stupendous life of showman P.T. Barnum by Candace Fleming

The Saggy Baggy Elephant by K. & B. Jackson, Gustaf Tenggren