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Tree Ring Circus

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  47 reviews
In a quiet little lea, several miles out of town, a tree grows. It becomes home to sparrows, chipmunks, a whopping big bee . . . a runaway clown? Two poodles? An ape? Wait a minute. . . .
In his quirky but realistic style, Rex creates the greatest show on earth--or at least, in a tree. The surprising text is part word game, part counting game, and part mystery. The illustra
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  256 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Oct 19, 2008 rated it liked it
A fast growing tree three miles out of town attracts all kinds of animals. There's 3 chipmunks, 2 sparrows and a whopping big bee. A chicken, 2 blue jays, a clown. Five mice and raven. And it goes on and on. The circus shows up looking for its clown, but two mischief-making apes let all of the animals out and the circus men run away. But what will happen when the elephant tries to get in the already crowded tree?

I'm a little conflicted on this. I loved, loved the illustrations (well, except for
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Summary: A seed grows into a tree three miles out of town and animals slowly climb up to live in it. A traveling circus stops by and the animals escape to get in the tree until the elephant climbs to the top and crushes it. Then the animals get up off the ground where the tree fell down, three miles out of town.
Evaluation: This book is all about the illustration. The words are even illustrated to look like circus titles and headlines and they make the book comical and jovial. There are lots of c
Lynn  Davidson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very busy book! There's lots going on in the tree located three miles outside town. Fun story.
The illustrations are a little messy and crowded, but the rhythmic text is nice and there's lots of repetition to keep a read-aloud audience interested.
Kest Schwartzman
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had me from it's pseudo-circus poster with a booking by "reinforced binding".

Charming story, delightfully illustrated.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read for Circus Storytime - May 30, 2017 - they really liked this one
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read Adam Rex before (chapter book) but had no clue what a talented illustrator he is! This is his very first book and it is lovely.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
So, I have a confession to make: I really hate books with lots of repetition (like the House That Jack Built). Especially when I have to read them aloud. I know you're supposed to encourage the kids to catch on to the repeated phrases and chant along, but I just never enjoyed that bit. When I'm alone, I just skip the repeated lines and try to get ahead to whatever's supposed to be happening in the story. So, when I started to read Tree Ring Circus I thought, 'Oh no. Is this going to be an Adam R ...more
3.5 - Publishers Weekly did a feature not long ago on best children's books, and I decided to check out a few. I know very little about children's book publishing, but I like to learn about new genres. It seems to me that some books are driven by story or character, and others by the illustrations, and the real break-outs have both. This book seems to fall into the illustration category. The story is a bit silly--animals gather in a tree for no apparent reason. I love the style of the illustrati ...more
May 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture, read-aloud
My 11yo son and I both really enjoyed the rich illustrations in this book, but my 6yo son pronounced it "boring." The description pegs it as part counting game, and perhaps some we could have played that up somewhat while reading, but that angle probably appeals more to younger children (e.g. preschoolers). I do like how some of the characters are also seen in Pssst!
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 566-picturebooks
The fantastic oil and mixed media illustrations in this book help rescue the faltering rhythm of the text. Younger children will likely find the imagery humorous and fun, plus there is an opportunity to practice counting exercises as animals are added to the tree. There's not much meat to the story however, and older children may lose interest quickly. That being said, this would be an excellent book to introduce mixed media artwork at home or in the classroom.
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This more than just a story of a tree. It is also the story of “3 Chipmunks, 2 Sparrows, and a Whopping Big Bee”… to start with. Adam Rex's story is simple – A tree grows, a lot of things sit in it until… I won’t ruin it for you. Needless to say the story is just okay, but the illustrations are odd and whimsical and I loved them. I absolutely love his artwork.
Iamaby En
This is a good counting book for storytime, with good illustrations and lots of animals that kids love. Since the illustrations are a little too "busy" at times, it might be less appropriate for toddlers, but keeping their attention on counting the animals might be the glue that holds their attention.
Callie Rose Tyler
This was Adam Rex's very first book. It has a lot going for it to entice young readers, it's funny, it rhymes, there is counting, and the illustrations are lush and colorful. My favorite part of this book is actually the title page, I love his subtle humor and how he makes each of his books unique.
Nancy Kotkin
Same premise as Stuck by Oliver Jeffers, but the execution of this picture book (which was published earlier) is superior. While whimsical, both the rolling text and the quirky but masterful illustrations flow logically and reach a satisfactory conclusion. Young children can also practice their counting and search-and-find skills.
Simple story about circus animals (and others too!) in a tree. Children can count along up to 33 and help remember the animals already up in the tree. Might work as a felt story, but the illustrations in the original are quite nice, especially the circus-like typography.
Oct 07, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Rex's lettering and illustrations are playful and childlike but I can't imagine that this particular book would be easy for a child to follow especially since the text shifts in size and direction so frequently. I loved this book as an adult but wouldn't recommend it to children learning to read.
Meg McGregor
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-to-lexi
I don't like circuses so that is probably biasing me against this book but for my little one's sake, I gave it a try.

Worst 20 minutes every. Been there - done that - will not read again,

The only reason I gave it two stars is for the artwork.
If you're going to read this aloud, make sure you prep first. The layout and design of the text is not easy to scan, although it fits with the story and illustrations. Whimsical and silly, this might be a good fit for kids who like to seek-and-find or count.
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Adam Rex's first children's book is simple, yet vibrant and funny.

A tree grows in a field and is soon populated by 33 animals (including a clown) until it all comes toppling down.

So good!
Mar 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: rhyme, wordplay
Loved the drawings and really unique style of word art! Story was a little random, though I guess that's not the most important thing to kids!
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-book
This was a cute book with very busy pages that it was hard to turn the pages without at least one kid trying to keep me from doing it.
Eli For
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fun read, great illustrations
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A fantastically illustrated nonsensical read.
Amy For
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fun read, great illustrations
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just another reason to love Adam Rex.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
There was a TON going on in this book!
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, kids-books
Comical and classy in text and art. There aren't many kids' books I'd pay $20 for, but this is one. Superb entertainment, bravo!
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story was quirky, the illustrations were amusing and the counting text was fun. They're all in a tree! My favorite was A Whopping Big Bee.
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Adam Rex grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, the middle of three children. He was neither the smart one (older brother) or the cute one (younger sister), but he was the one who could draw. He took a lot of art classes as a kid, trying to learn to draw better, and started painting when he was 11. And later in life he was drawn down to Tucson in order to hone his skills, get a BFA from the University of Ar ...more