Have you ever been to the circus? Seen people breathe fire, swallow swords, and get shot out of canons? These amazing acts are part of little Adam’s daily life as the youngest member of a famous circus family. And while his family tries to get him interested in their craft, it takes a while before they learn to listen… to what Adam wants to do.
Slovenian author Žiga X Gombač spins a tale of daring feats and thunderous applause, but these are simply a background to the story of a young boy who wants to follow his passion and feel seen within a busy family dynamic. Finally, one simple question—Why don’t we ask Adam what he likes doing?—changes everything for the Von Trapezes.
Maja Kastelic, also from Slovenia, illustrates this tale in a beautiful fall palette and a style reminiscent of the 1920s circus scene. Her use of light and shadows parallels the characters’ emotional states. At the end, Adam is somewhere between the lively circus limelight and the shadows of the backstage area, showing that being a little shy is okay, and not something a protagonist must overcome by the end of their story.
Adam and His Tuba was translated by Olivia Hellewell and can be found through NorthSouth Books’ distributor, Simon & Schuster.