by Chris Van Dusen
Candlewick, 2009. Unpaged. Picture Book
Steaming past Maine, the circus ship is headed for Boston when the fog closes in, she hits a rock and sinks. Animals are everywhere in the water, but though the captain tries to help them, the circus owner, Mr. Paine, insists on being saved first. The animals swim for it and everyone arrives safely in a small coastal town where the residents are at first unnerved by finding an alligator on the woodpile and a lion on the lawn. After the tiger leaps through fire to save Emma Rose from the Abbots' burning shed, everyone gets along famously. So well, in fact, that when the loathsome Mr. Paine comes back to retrieve his animals, he can't find them. Perhaps he doesn't know where to look. And everyone lives happily ever after. A sparkly rhyming text and brilliantly colored (and imagined) pictures make this one of the premiere picture books of the year.