by Chris Van Dusen
unpaged picture book
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009
A selfish and greedy circus owner is on a boat headed to Boston with his menagerie. The ship's captain is concerned about the weather and wants to stop and wait it out. The circus owner forces him to persist and eventually the ship runs aground. The circus owner is saved but the animals are left to their own devices. They finally reach land near a small Maine town. At first the townspeople are frightened by the strange creatures. Eventually they learn to love them and will do anything to save them from their crazy owner when he returns to reclaim them.
Van Dusen loosely based the event on a true story, but this is not a story of the true event. His illustrations are wonderful, full of charm and humor. My son read it like an hidden object book, having to find all the animals in every scene. Good stuff, I hope we see much more of this talented author/illustrator.