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Library : Book Reviews > Jingle The...

Jingle The Christmas Clown
By Tomie dePaola

Review by: Yvonne Gaudet

     Jingle the clown was too small to perform with the bigger clowns, it was his job to take care of the baby animals in Il Circo Piccolo. On Christmas Eve the circus would hold a special show for the village, it was Jingle’s favorite night. When they arrived at the village, the circus performers noticed that there were a lot of boarded up windows and no one was outside, the village looked empty. Just then a small group of villagers walked towards them. They brought bad news to the circus performers, due to too much rain the crops had been destroyed and a lot of businesses had shut down. People had to move too, as the work was very scarce and the only people left in the village was the old people. They surely could not afford to pay for a circus to come to the village this year. They would have no Christmas in this village this year! When the ring master heard the bad news, he suggested that they go to the big city and put on a Christmas Eve show there instead. Then a small voice said "The baby animals are to tired to go ahead, can’t we just stay here one night?" After some deliberations, the Ring Master decided to leave Jingle in the village with the baby animals and the others would go on ahead to perform in the big city, after all they would come back to get them after the performance and after the animals were well rested. And with that, they set off on their journey.
     Trying not to cry, Jingle and the baby animals watched as the wagons rode away. It was decided that Jingle would be able to set his small tent up in Donna Chiara’s field, she was the lady who let the circus set up in her fields on previous years. When Jingle had the tent set up and the animals fed, Donna came out of her house to check on them. Jingle asked her if she would miss Christmas this year and she replied by telling him that she had seen many Christmases and that children should not miss it at all. She felt sad for Jingle, and in return, Jingle felt sad for the old people. Donna did say however, that she would miss the family feasts and the stelline d’oro, their special cookies that look like golden stars. Jingle saw tears in Donna’s eyes as she got up to go in to bed. Jingle felt so sad for the old people and he wished he could do something to bring Christmas to these poor unfortunate souls. Will Jingle be able to bring Christmas to the village? Will Donna get her special star cookies?
      Find out soon in this special book! I found this book totally appealing for any age. With no mention of Santa Claus and presents, this book brings out the true meaning of Christmas. The sharing of ourselves with others and the caring about others’ feelings. Jingle truly gives of himself, in this story, to show how much he cares for their happiness and he expects nothing in return! Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone acted this way!! This book also includes the recipe to make your own ‘Stelline d’Oro’ or Star cookies!

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