Winning Year: 1938
Author: Noel Streatfeild
Title: The Circus is Coming

Original Publisher: Dent
Current Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1903252253
In Print

Terrified that they are about to be sent to an orphanage after the death of their foolishly snobbish Aunt Possit, Peter and Santa set off on a journey in search of an uncle who they have heard travels with a circus. He turns out to be a clown in Cob's Circus which they track down to Bridlington in the north of England. From the moment they arrive in this new and exciting circus world, kindly Uncle Gus looks after them and his caravan becomes their unusual home.

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Noel Streatfeild was born in 1895 in Amberley, Sussex, the second daughter of a clergyman. Her older sister was pretty and delicate, her younger sister clever and beautiful - Noel saw herself as the plain one and made her mark by being quite rebellious. She always shone in the plays she and her sisters put on for her father's parish causes. She worked in a munitions factory during World War One and after the war went off to train as an actress. Her ten years on the stage were not very successful but they gave her valuable knowledge of theatre life to use later in her books.

She and Steven Spurrier traveled with Bertram Mills` Circus to collect material for the book. He fell ill before his finished drawings were ready, and the publishers issued the book with reproductions of the original sketches, full of swift and lively observation.

Noel claimed to have a "blotting paper memory" that was the secret of her success as a writer. She could think herself back into childhood and recall the delights of pets and holidays and Christmas - as well as the miseries of being snubbed, overlooked and excluded. She wrote 58 books for children; many are still in print, including her most popular title Ballet Shoes. She was astonished by the success of Ballet Shoes. She died in 1986.




I absoloutely LOVE Noel Streatfeild so it's not surprising I love this book. Although I have to say it was this book that won carnegie and not one such as The Growing Summer.

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