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The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola
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The Clown of God (original 1978; edition 1999)

by Tomie dePaola

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0371812,579 (4.24)5
A once-famous Italian juggler, now old and a beggar, gives one final performance before a statue of Our Lady and the Holy Child.
Member:sullijo
Title:The Clown of God
Authors:Tomie dePaola
Info:San Val (1999), School & Library Binding, 48 pages
Collections:Reviewed
Rating:*****
Tags:@home, fiction, children, Franciscans

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The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola (1978)

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
The Clown of God is a well-known French legend of a small juggler who offers the gift of his talent, and the miracle that occurs.The pictures are marvelous and the text suitable for young children.
  St-Johns-Episcopal | Feb 8, 2019 |
This would be a great book to read to your class during a renaissance lesson unit. It speaks of a beggar that learns the art of juggling and travels the world performing for people and princes. He juggles for the love of making people laugh and smile. The story comes full circle when one day his audience throws tomatoes at him and he becomes a beggar once more. He learns of Jesus, except the book amazingly hints at religion because he does not say Jesus or Mary. On Christmas, he has no gifts to give to the Savior so he once again juggles his best act yet/, dies, and baby Jesus is holding one of his juggling balls. He was a selfless man, performing for people and in the end, he gave his life to the Lord. It is a very huge concept that the author subtly introduces to his readers.

Religion based questions:
What gifts can we give to God?
What gifts did God give to us?

Non-religion based question:
How can we be more selfless towards others? ( )
  mskathyphan | Oct 8, 2018 |
A young boy travels around Italy and pleases crowds with his juggling. As the boy ages he learns that his juggling is a way to give glory to God.

The key element of this book are the illustrations. They vividly show how Giovanni ages throughout his journey and the different audiences/advisers he encounters. The rainbow colored balls, that Giovanni juggled, showed the consistency of his life, the joy he brought others, and the wonderful skill he had mastered. This book has an underlying message about religion, which some students may not understand or pick up on. However, I feel the larger message in this story is to value the skills you have and use them to share joy with those around you. This book can be used during a multicultural unit about Italy, folktales, or religion. ( )
  Tori.Okosun | Apr 21, 2018 |
A sacrifice and a miracle, a la' [b:The Cat Who Went to Heaven|836240|The Cat Who Went to Heaven|Elizabeth Coatsworth|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1295626620s/836240.jpg|821853]. I'm an atheist, and I still appreciate the beauty of this fable. Possibly a little long for the youngest tots, but I'd love to see what a small child would get out of this, as there are accessible aspects like the fact that the MC always concludes his juggling performance with 'the Sun in the Heavens.' ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
As with all of Tomie dePaola's books, The Clown of God doesn't disappoint. The Italian legend totally engrosses readers as they travel along beside him as a young boy and as an old man. dePaola's sweet text enchants us as we eagerly turn each page. This book would be a wonderful edition to a librarian's or a teacher's study of genres. ( )
  cherieem | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tomie DePaolaprimary authorall editionscalculated
France, Anatolesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gripe, Camillasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saue, Gerd GrønvoldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Norine Odland
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Many, many years ago, in Sorrento...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Old clown in life's dusk
gives one last show for Christ child
shows true self-giving
(sullijo)

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