Jingle the Christmas Clown, by Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola’s Jingle the Christmas Clown is a very sweet story, set in Italy, where a traveling circus comes to the small town where they traditionally perform on Christmas Eve before moving into a nearby larger town for a longer engagement. This year, however, the town is nearly deserted. Crop failures have forced most of the people of the town to move away, leaving only the elderly people of the town behind. The townspeople cannot afford a circus, and so the circus decides to move on.
However that the baby circus animals have been walking all day, and need a rest first. The circus ringmaster (or Impresario, as he’s called here – one of many touches of Italian flavor to this tale) decides the the youngest clown, named Jingles, can stay behind to take care of the animals for a few days while the rest of the circus moves on.
Jingles decides that he can’t just stand by while the poor villagers cannot afford to celebrate Christmas. He and the animals practice and give a special, free Christmas performance for the town. And a special Christmas star that even Jingle isn’t expecting appears as well.
A nice Christmas story by the classic Tomie dePaulo. It has nothing to do with the actual Christmas story, unfortunately, but itâs still a nice story, beautifully illustrated.