The Quirks in Circus Quirkus
Author – Erin Soderberg
Illustrated by Kelly Light – Cover Illustration by Luke Watson
Published by Bloomsbury in Paperback – Release date 13 February 2014
A Children’s Fictional Book – Aged 7-9 years
This is the second published book about The Quirk family who possess magical powers. Granny is a fairy, Grandpa can mess with time; Bree Quirk can make people believe what they want to, and Finn (aged 5), is invisible unless he’s chewing gum. Penelope has an imagination that is out of control, while her twin, Molly, seems to be the only Quirk not to have a special power; although her immunity to the magic of the others makes her unique in that sense. There is also a pet monster in the house called Niblet! The Circus of the Dazzling Stars comes to Normal – the family’s hometown, so the Quirk children are learning circus skills when at school. At home however, there is the usual mischievous mayhem going on and ongoing attempts to hide their secret powers from the nosy neighbour, Mrs DeVille. Will she catch them out?
Comment and Guide
The first half of the book has a narrative that is a little stilted by detailing and asides. When it settles down however, it is quite fun and begins to flow. The b/w illustrations are enhancing and have a look of 2D Disney about them. Even though the circus theme is rather 20th century the circus references are enjoyable. This is very much a modern fable however, with trick playing and trouble dodging a main thread. The writing juxtaposes in a way with a script from many-a-popular multi-channel cartoon; language is geared for the US audience. The book would work really well as a read aloud book in a shared storytelling situation.