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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
In the storybook Sewing the Magic in at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus by Lisa Gammon Olson, readers are introduced to Nora, a little girl who is watching the daily activities of a circus preparing for the new season. Though she is trying to focus on her work, she is unable to concentrate being near the window overlooking ‘Ringlingville’, the winter quarters of The Greatest Show on Earth. Her mother reminds her to concentrate on her sewing, but her excuses are just as varied and colorful as the daily events passing beneath her window. Her mother is sure Nora will be an excellent seamstress one day. Miss Maggie, one of the senior seamstresses, comes and sits next to Nora and speaks about the dreams she had when she was Nora’s age. She shows Nora the magic she has sewn into the fabric. During the show, Miss May Wirth, the greatest bareback rider of all times, comes in and what does Nora see? The big satin bow she has sewn with her own hands.
The story, apart from being interesting, also provides readers with a lot of information about The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus - The Greatest Show on Earth! The illustrations are colorful and lively and they breathe life into the characters and make the scenes vivid. It is a good story for classroom read aloud sessions as it speaks about history in an interesting way that will appeal to children. I like the way the author has woven a story around The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, giving young readers an opportunity to learn about its rich and magical past.