The Farmer and the Clown

by Marla Frazee

A brightly colored circus train enters the sepia landscape of an elderly farmer’s... read more

A brightly colored circus train enters the sepia landscape of an elderly farmer’s solitary world, setting in action a captivating string of events. When the farmer witnesses a small clown rocketing off the train, he sets off to investigate. The clown is in fact, a child. Marla Frazee’s wordless story chronicles the tender connection between the two as they come to know each other beneath the façade of clown makeup and clichéd expectations. The farmer cares for the child, introducing him to farm life and lifting his spirits with silliness and a shared picnic while they await the return of the train. Their paths diverge when the child is joyfully reunited with his family, but their strong connection is symbolized with an exchange of hats. The juxtaposition of the stark neutral-toned farmer with the colorful clown child creates visual drama in a perfectly paced tale told primarily through facial expressions and body language, masterfully executed in a deceptively simple style. (Ages 4–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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