Cockroaches dressed as sailors, shy moths and narrow alleys. Lena Sjöberg’s new picture book is a fantastic tale about two circus fleas – a large one and a small one – in the metropolis of Madrid. They live in close quarters, among high heels, blinking neon lights and clattering mopeds, drink cerveza and take their rest during the siesta.
The Vaudeville Flea Circus puts on acts for those who are in- terested: they throw knives, do handstands, walk on tightro- pes, and juggle. Their success is irrefutable! But one day it happens, that which should not happen, a flame from a cigarillo starts a fire at the circus. Now where can the circus fleas go? In a suitcase on a moped, hiding among the toile- tries, they head out for adventure.
“Come here and sit right next to me
And hold my hand so tight
Our earth is like a single pearl
On a string of space pearls white
And though the direction in which we’re going Is sometimes hard to tell
I promise you, right here and now That it will all end well”
Circus Fleas on the Road is an irresistible picture book about adventure and mishap, but also about cooperation and the need for closeness when times are hard.
During the past few years Lena Sjöberg has received nu- merous awards for her writing and her illustrations. Her pic- ture book What If… was nominated for the August Award in 2010. The book was awarded the Elsa Beskow Plaque in 2011 for the best picture book of the year. Her latest pic- ture book What’s That Behind Your Back? was praised by critics.