The Flying Garbanzos

The Flying Garbanzos

by Barney Saltzberg

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Now in paperback, here's a birthday book with a twist, involving a circus family, a flying cake, and a guessing game that keeps readers wondering what baby Beanie will do!


Now in paperback, here's a birthday book with a twist, involving a circus family, a flying cake, and a guessing game that keeps readers wondering what baby Beanie will do!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When the Flying Garbanzos throw a birthday party for two-year-old Beanie, they don't need to rent a clown or circus animals. A trapeze already hangs from their kitchen ceiling, and an elephant, seal and monkey live with them in their multicolored Victorian abode. They require only a special cake. After Beanie's birthday breakfast, attended by trained poodles and a dancing bear, the acrobatic family bounces to the bakery, where a juggling accident sends the cake flying out the door. A melee ensues, involving a unicycle, a mountain road, a red biplane and a bright-yellow parachute. Saltzberg (Phoebe and the Spelling Bee) builds anticipation for the elusive confection: "Are you going to sing to your cake?" Beanie's mom asks. "I bet you're going to kiss your cake when you get it!" says his brother. Big, bold exclamations and smaller narrative text mimic the spectacular swoops and tumbles of the Garbanzos, who always land on their feet. Saltzberg's watercolor and cut-paper images may be inconsistent in their composition, but their genuine ebullience makes up for any aesthetic shortcomings. Fast action and shouted dialogue ensure that the pages turn in a hurry, and Beanie culminates this amiable tale like a true Garbanzo: with a death-defying swan dive into the icing. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
Zany antics on the occasion of the second birthday of the youngest child in a circus family named Garbanzo serve as the springboard for this high-energy picture book. The full color cartoon-like illustrations pump even more power into the reading experience, which preschool audiences should especially enjoy. Trapezes fly, trampolines thrust, and parachutes come to the rescue of the Garbanzos as they prepare for Beanie's birthday party. All the ingredients of a favorite preschool reading experience are present-hilarious premise; slap stick action, repetitive language, and an ending that is as delicious as it is unexpected!
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-The world famous Garbanzo family "flies through the air with the greatest of ease." They are all circus acrobats-the parents and their three children, including two-year-old Beanie. They never walk when they can fly and they never sit when they can balance on furniture or on one another. Even a trip to the bakery to get Beanie's birthday cake involves balancing acts, juggling, and a death-defying chase down a steep, curving mountain road to rescue the flying cake, which brother Jake has tossed into the air. And the traditional birthday-song ceremony turns into a circus act when Beanie happily jumps into the cake. The bright collage illustrations dominate the book by depicting interesting acrobatics on every page. The text follows the pictures and also has its own amusing story line about what Beanie will do with his cake. There are sound effects and repeated refrains to delight the youngest listeners. This is sure to be a hit after a visit to the circus, at birthday time, or anytime at all.-Virginia Golodetz, Children's Literature New England, Burlington, VT

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
8.35(w) x 10.34(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

BARNEY SALTZBERG has written an illustrated a number of picture books and pop-up books for children, including Mrs' Morgan's lawn; Where, Oh, Where's My Underwear?; Show and Tell; and Phoebe and the Spelling Bee. He also performs for children, playing guitar and singing original songs. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Susan, and their two children, Lily and Arthur, along with a menagerie of dogs, frogs, and fish, and a hamster named pinky.

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