The Palace of Laughter: The Wednesday Tales No. 1

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9780060755072: The Palace of Laughter: The Wednesday Tales No. 1

Orphaned eleven-year-old Miles Wednesday and his companion, a Song Angel named Little, are helped by a talking tiger as they set off to find a missing Storm Angel and Miles's beloved stuffed bear, ending up in a peculiar circus where the audience cannot stop laughing.

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About the Author:

Jon Berkeley was born in Dublin at a time when suits were collarless and there were no bootprints on the moon. He was educated by stern men with elbow patches, in a school where you were allowed to go to the bathroom only if you asked in Irish.

Jon has worked as a freelance illustrator for over twenty years and has turned more recently to writing. He is the author and illustrator of chopsticks, a story about the friendship between a mouse and a dragon, and has illustrated several books by other authors.

Jon has lived and worked in Sydney, Hong Kong, London, and Dublin and now lives in a small town in Catalonia with his wife, Orna, and their five children, along with one dog and an expanding population of cats.

He is the author of The Palace of Laughter and The Tiger's Egg.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7–When the mysterious Circus Oscuro arrives in the dead of night, Miles Wednesday, a runaway orphan living in a barrel, is the only person in the town of Larde to witness the event. Later that same night, he is approached by a tiger who claims he can smell the circus in Miles. Thus begins a chain of events that introduces the boy to a winged waif named Little, a captive of the circus's sinister ringmaster. Upon Little's escape, the two set out to rescue her friend from the Palace of Laughter, which seems to be far more dangerous and horrible than the name implies. Berkeley's first foray into writing is mostly successful; the story is filled with captivating and ingenious descriptive passages. While the author's habit of introducing Miles at the beginning of nearly every chapter (with definitions such as clean-shirted and cat-surrounded and dawn-chilled and hungry) does tend to get stale, the lively plot and colorful supporting cast are enough to hold readers' attention. Try displaying this book alongside classic whimsical tales such as Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth (Knopf, 1961) or the work of Roald Dahl to create interest.–Christi Voth, Parker Library, CO
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