Cover image for A carnival of animals
A carnival of animals
Fleischman, Sid, 1920-2010.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
48 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Tall tales about the fantastic adventures of some of the animals that live around Barefoot Mountain.
Reading Level:
500 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.5 0.5 44361.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.2 3 Quiz: 23976 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A no-account little tornado comes twirling along. It means no great harm, but for the animals in the shadow of Barefoot Mountain life will never be the same. A 400pound hog finds a wind-tossed harmonica and learns to play it. Emperor Floyd, a wild rooster, is frightened into insomnia and keeps everyone awake by crowing in the middle of the night. Stumblefrog discovers a sack of Mexican jumping beans left in the path of the twister, and guess what happens? Most curious of all, the storm drops a "strange little animal, all pink skin and bones, lying in a heap against a hollow log." Its fur or feathers have been plucked clean by the tornado, and no one can guess what nature of odd animal the "Windblown Child" is. Everyone is in for a huge and wondrous surprise. In these six broad comedies, Newbery Medal winner Sid Fleischman again proves himself to be a wizard of the American tall tale. Children's Books 2000-NY Public Lib.

Author Notes

Sid Fleischman was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 16, 1920 but grew up in San Diego, California. He loved all things magical and toured professionally as a magician until the beginning of World War II. During the war, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and afterwards, he graduated from San Diego State University in 1949.

After graduation, he worked as a reporter with the San Diego Daily Journal. After the paper folded in 1950, he started writing fiction. He tried his hand at children's books because his own children often wondered what their father did. To show them how he created stories, he wrote them a book. He wrote more than 50 fiction and nonfiction works during his lifetime including The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life; Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini; The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West; The Thirteenth Floor; and The Ghost in the Noonday Sun. His book, The Whipping Boy, won the Newberry Award in 1987. He is the father of Newbery Medal winning writer and poet Paul Fleischman; they are the only father and son to receive Newbery awards.

He also wrote screenplays including Lafayette Escadrille, Blood Alley, and The Whipping Boy. He died from cancer on March 17, 2010 at the age of 90.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6, younger for reading aloud. In his latest offering of tall tales, Fleischman explores the strange aftermath of a "no-account" "pipsqueak" tornado that's wreaked havoc on Barefoot Mountain. Since the storm, nothing is the same, especially the cast of absurd, lovable animals. There's the Yellercat, who "balloons" into a lion and terrifies bullying Mad Dog; Floyd, the insomniac rooster who gorges on fireflies until, glowing, he becomes a farmer's porch light; "Stumblefrog," the bullfrog who eats Mexican jumping beans; and J. J. Jones, the lying, 400-pound hog who invents a horror story for others but ends up scaring himself. As usual, Fleischman writes about the fantastic and absurd with a captivating balance of casual assuredness and precise detail; his "Sidehill Clinger" --"half sheep, half long-haired mountain goat. . . and the other half part-spotted leopard" --is particularly irresistible. Marylin Hafner's pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations, similar in style to Nadine Bernard Wescott's work, perfectly expand the stories' humor and skewed matter-of-factness with cartoonish clarity. An excellent choice for rowdy story hours, suggest this also to teachers looking for fresh material for folktale units. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

A half dozen newly minted tall tales chronicle the merry havoc wreaked by a "no-account little tornado" that touches down on Barefoot Mountain. In the opening story ("The Windblown Child"), a group of friendly woodland animals rally round an odd, pink, hairlessDor featherless, they can't tellDcreature ("It could be a newborn pig" one observes) who blows in from the nearby mountain. She turns out to be a rare "Sidehill Clinger" (her disproportionate legs, ideal for climbing steep slopes, are the giveaway). In a neat little coda, her missing fleece turns up in the final story atop the head of a bald farmer. Other memorable characters include the star of "Emperor Floyd," a rooster, who develops insomnia and a taste for fireflies in the storm's aftermath and ends up a porch light, and "Stumblefrog," a clumsy frog who finds a torn sack of Mexican jumping beans, swallows them, then leaps and soars with the best of them. Fleischman (Bandit's Moon) displays his nimble wit with descriptions of a gale that shakes trucks "like dice" and a sly hawk named Thump Oswald who is "slick as bear grease." The glee with which he relates his outrageous yarns is infectious, and Hafner (the Lunch Bunnies books) seems to have caught it, too. Overflowing with the critters and varmints the stories conjure up, her jaunty watercolor and pen-and-ink vignettes create a jaunty counterpoint. Ages 7-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Fleischman, a master of the tall tale, presents six short stories about the odd happenings at Barefoot Mountain after a "no-account little tornado" passes through. Some of the unusual creatures introduced include a Sidehill Clinger whose legs are different lengths for ease in climbing mountains; a rooster who eats too many fireflies and begins to glow in the dark; and Webster, aka "Stumblefrog," whose leaping difficulties are solved when he discovers a sack of Mexican jumping beans. Intended for perhaps a slightly younger audience than the author's "McBroom" series, these shorter, simpler tales feature the same broad humor and quirky characterizations. Hafner's cheerful illustrations, done in watercolors, colored pencils, and pen and ink, add to the comic quality of the book. A good choice for children between beginning chapter books and more ambitious fare, and a solid addition for most collections.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.