Toby Tyler: Or Ten Weeks with a Circus

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Courier Corporation, 1997 - Circus - 156 pages
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Classic story of a little orphan boy who runs away to join the circus, only to learn, unhappily, that his new employer is a cruel taskmaster. 30 illustrations enhance a story that will tug on the heartstrings of readers of all ages as they enter the world of an old-time traveling circus.

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I first saw the Disney film on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, a show I looked forward to every Sunday evening as a child (even though we had a black and white TV!). If I remember correctly, it was in two or 3 parts, as it was a full-length movie and the TV show was only an hour plus commercials. Because I really enjoyed the movie, I read the book a little bit later. Of course I'm going way back to my youth, but I do remember that the Disney film was fairly faithful to the book. The biggest differences that I remember was that Disney's Harry Tupper (the unscrupulous concessionnaire) was named Job Lord in the book, and that Mr. Stubbs was a chimp in the movie and a monkey (he had a tail) in the book, and in the book he didn't survive getting shot. Another notable diffrence was that one of the main characters in the book, the kindly circus fat lady Mrs.Treat who befriended Toby, wasn't in the Disney version. In the Disney version, her character was almagamated with that of the wagon driver Ben Cotter (who was in the book as well as the movie), and in the Disney version it was Ben who did many of the the things that Mrs. Treat (who was also extremely strong!) did, such as picking up Mr. Topper/Job Lord and throwing him in a mud puddle when he abused Toby, and generally looking out for Toby.  

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