Book: Clown

by Quentin Blake

“The art of the clown is more profound than we think: it is neither tragic nor comic. It is the comic mirror of tragedy and the tragic mirror of comedy.”

André Suarès


Considering Clown starts with the title character being tossed in the garbage, there’s really nowhere else to go but up. Fortunately, our clown is a glass-half-full kind of guy who scores a pair of dumpster-diving shoes before setting off on his adventure – he hangs out a photo shoot, follows a stern governess home, gets tossed out a window, is chased by a vicious dog, gets thrown through a window, and helps a down-and-out family.

And there are no words.

Think of it as 1 part Velveteen Rabbit, 1 part New Yorker, and 1 part Monty Python, with a sweet, but not saccharin, ending.

I can’t wait to read more Blake books…he’s illustrated over 300 (and is still going strong), so it may take awhile to read his entire oeuvre.

Reading Tips: The illustrations are very detailed, which makes this a better book for one-on-one reading rather than a group read aloud.

Experiment with reading from the clown’s point of view, then switch to the omniscient narrator (complete with character voices). Both can be a lot of fun, and be sure to involve your kiddos in the narrative – maybe they’ve got a voice or 2 to share as well.


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