TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Marla Frazee

Marla Frazee on The Farmer and the Circus

In this post, we feature author and illustrator Marla Frazee, whose award-winning titles include the Caldecott Honor Book A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. You can hear her speak about her new picture book, The Farmer and the Circus, and try her “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Marla Frazee and the cover of The Farmer and the Circus.

The Farmer and the Circus

  • Written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
  • Published by Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Release date: April 6, 2021

The farmer follows his new friends to the circus in this whimsical and touching conclusion to the trilogy that began with the The Farmer and the Clown. The little clown and monkey miss their friend the farmer. They spend their days playing farmer together, until one day they get a surprise. Farmer has come to visit the circus! What will happen when he meets the rest of the circus family?

An interior image from The Farmer and the Circus, by Marla Frazee, showing a small child in a farmer outfit approaching circus workers.
An interior image from The Farmer and the Circus, by Marla Frazee, showing the child and a monkey gazing at stars with circus workers, who are cooking over an outdoor fire.
An interior image from The Farmer and the Circus, by Marla Frazee, showing a small child and a monkey helping circus workers to put up a striped tent.

Explore The Farmer and the Circus

Listen to Marla Frazee talking with TeachingBooks about creating The Farmer and the Circus. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.


Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Marla Frazee.

Imagination Activity with Marla Frazee

What do you like to draw when you are most relaxed and not even thinking about drawing? Maybe you’re watching TV or listening to music? Do you draw something a lot? Perhaps a race car? A shark? A flower? A submarine? An alien? A bunch of fancy hearts? Your doodles are clues about what interests you. I doodled a funny picture of a bossy baby years before I had the idea to do the book The Boss Baby. The Farmer Books (The Farmer and the Clown, The Farmer and the Monkey, and The Farmer and the Circus) all began with a doodle of a small baby clown holding the hand of a tall grouchy-looking farmer. So think about what you love to doodle—and imagine a story about that!

Finish This Sentence . . . with Marla Frazee

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Marla Frazee’s response.

“Where I work is . . .”

My studio is in my backyard under an avocado tree. My dog, Toaster, keeps me company. She either sleeps inside on a cushion in the corner or right outside my door on the porch.

Marla Frazee's backyard studio.

Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Marla Frazee for signing a book for all of us.

The endpapers of The Farmer and the Circus, signed by the author and illustrator, Marla Frazee.

More Connections to Marla Frazee and The Farmer and the Circus


Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

All text and images are courtesy of Marla Frazee and Simon & Schuster Publishing and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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