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I Want to Be an Acrobat

I Want to Be an Acrobat

by Ivan Bulloch, Diane James

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-These bright and entertaining titles give youngsters plenty of information without overwhelming them. Each book has 14 double-page chapters that include brief text, numerous full-color photos and illustrations, steps for mastering each activity, and tips that appear in dialogue balloons or boxes. However, the placement of paragraphs is potentially confusing. The last two chapters describe preparations for a show and give suggestions/reminders regarding performance. All of the books describe or depict inexpensive outfits and props. Acrobat states that the partnerwork shown throughout the book should only be done with adult supervision, yet no adults are shown and few safety concerns appear in the text. Also, more assistance may be required to achieve the professional look that is portrayed. Half of Clown is devoted to costume and make-up; the rest of the presentation consists of jokes and props. In Juggling, the paragraphs are numbered and are easier to follow. Magic includes instructions for the tricks and props used to perform them. The marvelous photographs of colorfully dressed, multiethnic children make these titles lively and inviting. Terms such as Pierrot and limbo are explained, but patter and ruff are not. Practice and patience is stressed in all of these how-to guides but given the audience and the complexity of the subjects, they may work best in a group setting with plenty of adult help.Marsha McGrath, Clearwater Public Library, FL

Product Details

CENGAGE Learning
Publication date:
I Want to Be Series
Product dimensions:
8.95(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

An Acrobat

By World Book Encyclopedia

World Book Inc

Copyright © 1961 World Book Encyclopedia
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0716643057



You are in for a lot of hard work--but don't be put off! Spend some time on warm-up exercises and then start putting different movements together. Work on routines that you can use in a show to entertain your friends. These could be a mix of jumps, tumbles, cartwheels, and balances. The more variety you get into your act, the better.


Before you do any acrobatic routines you should do some warm-up exercises first.

Head up

When you are standing still, keep your head up, shoulders back, and your back straight. This will come naturally after a while.

Getting going

A hoop or jump rope is good for beginning your warm-up routine. Some background music may help to get a rhythm going. Don't spend too much time on one exercise. You need to loosen up every part of your body!

Super stretch

This is a good exercise for your hips. Squat down with your back straight and head up. Stretch each leg out to one side in turn.

Running in place

Gently jogging in place will soon make you feel warm all over. A few minutes should be enough before moving on to another exercise.


Swing your arms in wide circles, forward and backward. Your arms should swing close to your ears. Thisexercise will help loosen up your shoulders.


How high can you jump? And how far? Try making up your own jumps by altering the position of your arms and legs in midair.

Thinking of different jumps for a routine shouldn't be a problem. There are so many to choose from. You can leap from one foot to another, jump from two feet to two feet, or from one foot to two feet. Or you can hop from one foot to the same foot! Try putting different combinations together in a routine.


* You can do some jumps from a standing position. Others will need a running start to give more height.

* A perfect jump includes a safe landing. Land on the balls of your feet, then the heels, with knees and hips slightly bent.

Star jump

This is an upward jump with arms and legs stretched wide. Start from a standing position and jump as high as you can!


Have you ever played leapfrog? Here's a way you can play it in your act to get a good laugh! The leaper runs up as if to leap over the "frog" who is bending down. But the "frog" is not as low as usual.

As the leaper jumps, the "frog" catches the leaper's legs and runs off with her piggyback!

Twist and turn

You'll need to jump high for this one! Once you are airborne, turn full circle so that you land facing the direction from which you started.


Acrobats often use props in their acts. For example, a jump rope is useful and inexpensive! Another handy item is a large wooden or plastic hoop. Start jumping!

Once you have mastered plain jumping you can try some tricks. Try jumping with a partner using just one rope, or turning your rope at double speed so that it makes two turns for every jump. Instead of jumping in the same position, try moving around.

Split jump

As your rope reaches its highest point, do your best split jump. Keep one leg stretched out in front and the other leg back. Make sure the rope clears both legs!

Double jumping

You will need a partner to do this. Stand facing him with your rope behind you and toes nearly touching. As you jump, your partner should mirror your movements.


Grip the hoop lightly on the top with two hands. Now start jumping in place. When you have mastered this on your own, try doing it with a partner.

Leg pull

Here's another good use for a jump rope. Fold your rope in half and then in half again. Place your foot in the rope and raise your leg. Stretch your leg as far as you can without losing your balance.


Excerpted from An Acrobat by World Book Encyclopedia Copyright © 1961 by World Book Encyclopedia. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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