The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum

PT Barnum was the three ring circus creator who owned the Barnum and Bailey circus. His life goals were to awaken a sleeping a sense of wonder and to help open the eyes of his fellow citizens to the amazing diversity of the human and natural world. His first efforts to search for unusual acts for his museum business involved a fiasco with the oldest living women who wasn't that old! His unusual museums had grand salons with acts such as the bearded lady, Siamese twins, the tallest woman and a living skeleton. He also included animal displays. With respect for his audiences he sought out the Fejee mermaid, the wooly horse and a grand buffalo hunt. Two special performers in his museum exhibits were world renowned Tom Thumb and the singer Jenny Lind.

It has been said that he developed the concept of celebrity. With drinking problems, family relationship difficulties and financial troubles, PT Barnum was unable to recover from a fire in his museum and the resulting loss of his animals. After a short retirement, he developed a new entertainment concept - the circus -with fantastic acts and a traveling show. His new circus provided many personal adventures, an efficient partner and unusual acts. With his love of children he became known as the children's friend. His most famous animal act was Jumbo the Elephant. In anticipation of his own death he determined his own legacies and assured the continued life of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. 160 pages Ages 8-12

Recommended by Christy Pierce, Librarian.

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