Wasteground Circus by Charles Keeping

Here is a Charles Keeping book that I’ve never heard of before – “Wasteground Circus”.

It is about two boys, Scott and Wayne, who like to play in an abandoned wasteground.  One day, they see a circus setting up in the wasteground:

These images are details  cropped out of larger images.  Here you can see the boys buying tickets from a marvelous tattooed circus man:

They meet the circus people, who “were not at all how they had imagined circus artists” :

They wander around looking at all the animals – sleeping lions,  elephants, and horses:

The illustrations of the circus performance are  washed in rainbow colours and glowing with energy, in contrast to the dull colours of the rest of the book:

Then the circus leaves. We see Wayne back in the dull every day colours, but Scott is still bathed in the circus glow.  The text says:

“The wasteground has been left deserted, to become once again a bleak playground.  But only for Wayne.  It will never be the same again for Scott.  He will remember forever the time the circus came to the town and will always see the wasteground as a place where anything can happen.”

I wrote about some other Charles Keeping books here:

– A Darker Keeping: The Highwayman – an illustration of the famous poem.
– Writer/illustrator Charles Keeping: Joseph’s Yard
– The God Beneath The Sea – illustrations of the Greek Myths.

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