Title: The Butterfly Circus
Author: Francesca Armour-Chelu
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Older children/middle grade fiction
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Sisters Tansy and Belle are the stars of the circus, soaring through the air on trapezes like shimmering butterflies…until one night, Tansy falls.  Now terrified of heights, all Tansy can do is watch from the ring below while Belle shines above.  But when Belle mysteriously vanishes and Tansy’s shadow miraculously comes to life, Tansy discovers that the courage she needs to rescue her sister may have been inside her all along.
An enchanting tale of friendship, hope and imagination that will make your heart soar.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a beautiful and magical story that was so compelling to read! Tansy and her older sister Belle are part of a double act on trapeze, but when Tansy attempts a trick she’s never done before something terrible happens which stops her being able to trapeze again. Now Belle is the only trapezist at the Butterfly Circus, and when she goes missing Tansy decides to go and find her.

The story is so compelling from the first pages. Each chapter begins with a title and I love the little writing at the top of each chapter which explains some type of circus term that’s later seen in the book. Tansy is a likeable character and the story focuses on her adventure as she searches for her sister. The story is set in a world that just reminds you of the old fashioned circuses with freak shows and animals performing, something about that old-fashioned setting just makes me enjoy this story all the more and it’s brought to life in a very vivid way. There is a very magical feel to the story and there are fantasy elements including what happens to Tansy and Rosa.

I loved the fast pace of the book, the adventure and search being the main aspect, but I also loved how Tansy developed and the lovely moments between her and Rosa, and her and Belle. The ending is very satisfying, both for what happens with all the characters, including Pickingill! But also what happens with Tansy and Rosa. I don’t want to spoil it but this book really does have a lovely ending, though a touch sad in one part that does still feel satisfying. It is the pefect ending to this story and I could see this book being turned into a film or animation.

I’m not sure why it was so compelling but this story really sucked me in and I found myself reading it all in a day! I loved all the animals mentioned and how brilliant the ending was with some of them. The cover of the book is beautiful. The picture itself is clever and I love the blue colourwhich is shiny making the book just look magical before you even read it. There’s a couple of maps in the book, one near the front cover which shows all the islands mentioned in the story.

I would recommend this book to any children, and even some adults, who want to read a lovely magical adventure with a very good ending. And I’d also recommend it for any children who feel scared to do something, it might just make them feel more confident in themselves too.

Do you magical stories?  What about old-fashioned circuses and magical shows?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂