A Kiki & Friends Story. Book 2
“The Circus Is Coming To Town”
Suitable for early readers (4-7-year-olds)
The story delicately treats the issue of animal cruelty whilst continuing the message of inner strength. The friends’ time at the circus exemplifies the power of teamwork, as each character uses their individual skill and, of course, no story would be complete without Kiki’s ability to “kung fu” them to safety.
What’s it about?
Kiki agrees to go with her friends to the circus. She has never been before and there is already discomfort around the subject of animals being chained or tamed right from the start. But don’t worry even though the odds are stacked against them, they still come out on top. Not only do Kiki and her friends save the mistreated elephants who are made to perform, they also outwit and outrun the Farmies AGAIN!
The second in the series of books: Kiki and Friends. Purr-fect for 4 to 7-year-olds who love to read stories with funny twists, clever plans and mischievous scrapes. Bonus: EleFunFact Quiz at the back of the book. Feline clever? Take the quiz and discover just how much of an elephant expert you really are.
Raising Awareness of Animal Cruelty Among Children
Kiki and Friends help children become more caring individuals:
- caring about themselves: self-care, self-respect, health, fitness
- caring about others: acts of kindness, respecting others, gratitude
- caring about the environment: looking after world, learning about all living things
Why is this important?
Kiki wants children to think about those who do not have a voice so they can be their voice. Thinking of the needs of others helps children become less self-centred and selfish. It also broadens their understanding of the world around them.
65% of us believe that millenials (18 to 25-year-olds) are “selfish and “entitled”
There must be a reason for that! Given this rising trend of entitlement, we need to move our children’s focus away from solely their own needs. Selfishness leads to feeling:
- like a victim
- nobody cares about you
- everyone else is against you
- miserable and pessimistic
- lonely and recluse
No parent wants that. Enter Kiki and Friends to help move your children into a place of giving and caring. Let your children feel part of something bigger than themselves – like the world and all the amazing animals in it.
HOW KIKI HELPS YOUR CHILDREN
Being More Confident
By now we’re all familiar with Kiki’s signature trademark of the red headband – a metaphor for self-confidence. When she puts it on she can do anything. When children lack confidence, they become self-absorbed, thinking others don’t like them or don’t want them. By helping others, like Kiki does, they will become more assured, more likely to work together with others and ask for help.
Seeing Your Weakness as a Strength
Believe in their own unique skills when faced with adversity or the seemingly impossible. Your weaknesses or “peculiar characteristics” can be turned into strengths – your unique secret weapon.
Piero did not take his accent being teased as a weakness, he turned it on its head and used it as a strength to help distract the cats and make their getaway plan a success. Kiki uses the size of the mice to their advantage (hiding in the wig, shooting them out of the canon) and Banjo turns his wobbly belly into an advantage as he dresses up as a belly dancer to escape.
The Power of Teamwork
Understand the value of loyalty and friendship, teamwork and self-belief.
In this story children will see how the friends work together to make the plan work. Kiki may do the superhero stuff and fight the eye-patch cat but her plan is based on using everyone’s skills: Banjo’s strength for the chains, Piero’s creativity and charm to distract the other cats, etc.
Become Aware of Others and Their Needs
Become aware of how animals are mistreated in a circus environment.
The story portrays how animal are chained in a circus. It transposes “human circus” into a “cat world circus”, so it is not too direct of an attack as the circus can be a fun place for children. Nevertheless the “elephant mice” are shown to be miserable and chained. Raising awareness.
None of the characters woke up that morning thinking they might have to sing or dance in front of a crowd, or get shot out of a canon but they did. And because they did, they saved the elephants that were being mistreated. Bu getting into action, by doing things you didn’t know you were capable of, you (your child) too can help make a difference in the lives of others (animals or people) who need you.
Great Things Happen When you Move Out Of Your Comfort ZoneKiki and Friends save the elephants, not because they stayed at home….
SUMMARY OF THEMES AND STORY
Chapter 1 Big News
Excitement. The Circus. Learning how to read – personal development. The reader is introduced to the Cats Code of Conduct. Banjo announces the circus is coming – this is met with both excitement and also confusion as Kiki reveals the possibility it may be cruel to animals. Trying new things. Engaging in activities and new things.
Chapter 2 The Big Top
New experiences. Colourful circus. Oh no the Farmies are back! Hiding. Scared little mouse. Suspense. Kiki looking after them. Discover miniature circus for cats. Incredible Circus of Mice. The adventure begins.
Chapter 3 Mouse Mission
Each one of has unique skills. Military mission with Kiki and four mice. Evil eye-patch cat training scared mice. Saving the little “elephant mice”. Banjo is needed for his strength to free the mice. Winston and Churchill for their military skills in filling the mice out. Kiki’s fight scene with the ye-patch cat. Banjo helps by carrying him.
Being quick and clever can help save the day – no need for violence. The enactment of the plan gives Kiki the opportunity to show the readers just how clever and quick she is as she saves the day.
Chapter 4 Piero’s Mission
Digging deep and achieving great things – Working Together. Defending against bullying. Piero entertains the cat audience. what he could have taken to heart as his weakness, his accent, which makes him different and stand out and be teased, he used as a strength as a skill, his secret weapon for helping the mice scape. His jubilant, upbeat nature made him think of laughter as a way to distract the cats. Use of music. The Music Man song.
Necessity Is The Mother Of All CreationPiero did what he had to do
A little bit about bullying. Eye-patch cat bullied little mice because he was bigger than them.
Chapter 5 The Great Escape
Unique talents. Seeing strengths of others. Self belief: nothing is impossible. Everyone has their own unique talents. Banjo becomes a belly dancer, the mice are shot out of a canon and our heroine becomes Kiki the clown. She orchestrates their great escape using everyone’s unique skills. The small size of the mice to whisper to the elephants.
She is the saviour. Nothing is impossible. They are in danger but she still thinks of the happiness of others and takes the elephants with them on their escape. Now what do they do? Kiki always has a plan.
Chapter 6 Grandpa George
Learn about asking for help. First mention of animal cruelty.
Kiki plants the elephants outside Grandpa George’s house. He is a vet and loves animals. This takes her and her friends out of the loop. They won’t get told off for making the elephants leave the circus. Good job Kiki can write, right? Proof of her thinking skills, not just her fighting skills to save the day.
Learn a few more types of animals like bonobo. learn about elephants. Pachyderms. (In the cat quiz). First direct mention of animal cruelty. Baddie gets cuffed and taken away.
Yet again, by working together, this new group of friends has gone out of their comfort zone, enjoyed themselves and are waiting, like the reader, for their next adventure!
Further info about mistreatment of circus elephants
This part is not meant for children, but it explains why the author wanted to raise awareness on behalf of elephants. In some circuses:
- The circus tears babies away from their mothers.
- “Breaking” elephants really means “breaking their spirits.”
- Trainers use bullhooks, ropes, and electric prods.
- Training goes unmonitored by any agency of any kind.
- Elephants spend most of their lives in chains.
- Elephants travel in boxcars like these for up to 100 hours straight.
- Elephants are beaten for their disobedience.