The Clown of God

The Clown of God

by Tomie dePaola


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In the oral tradition, storytellers through the centuries have told and retold tales, changing them often to fit their own lives and mores. Following this tradition, I have lovingly retold this ancient legend, shaping it to my own life and experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781534430129
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 70,137
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Tomie dePaola is one of the most popular children’s book authors and illustrators of our time and the winner of the 2011 Children’s Literature Legacy Award (formerly known as the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award) for “significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature,” among other lifetime achievement awards. A Newbery Honor winner, he has written and illustrated a number of books, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona and its companions, as well as Oliver Button Is a Sissy; The Legend of Old Befana; The Clown of God; Michael Bird-Boy; Andy, That’s My Name; and the New York Times bestseller Quiet. A native of Connecticut, Mr. dePaola studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in New London, New Hampshire. Visit him online at and


Connecticut and New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1935

Place of Birth:

Meriden, CT

Customer Reviews

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The Clown of God 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that this book can teach a child, or adult, that in God's eyes it is better to give than receive, even if you have little to give. God Bless!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is beautiful in its simplicity and warmth and it has become a favorite of my family since we first checked it out of the library when my brother was 4 (he is now 22!). The sweet, simple story of a street performer as he grows older becomes a miracle-story for Christmas. It is a true reminder of how the best and greatest gifts more often than not come from the heart, not from the wallet. I have since shared this book with my young cousins and look forward to being able to share it with my future neices, nephews and children. I urge you to do the same.
sullijo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first encountered The Clown of God in college, during a course on spirituality and developmental psychology. It tells the story of a poor beggar boy who finds joy and fame in his juggling -- and surprising blessings as well.dePaola does an excellent job adapting this "old story" to medieval Italy; the setting fits the story like a glove. The delightful illustrations bring the story to life. My children love pouring over the rich images.A great story for kids and adults alike, The Clown of God gets my highest recommendation.
hvachetta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Giovanni the juggler learns that his gift can be used to give glory to God. This is a retelling of a French oral legend. Tomie de Paola, like many storytellers before him, has changed some aspects to fit his own experience, and has given the story an Italian setting. This book is recommended for children in 2nd grade and up. It could be effectively used as a supplement to lessons in early childhood religion classes or Sunday school.
MarthaL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully illustrated and awesome book with profound message for adults as well as older children. Themes include vocation, aging, determination, religious devotion and the miraculous. A good read aloud in Christian schools especially, but well suited when a multicultural theme is wanted..
June6Bug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautifully illustrated story about the gift of one's self.
NUMCLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful legend for illuminating stewardship and the offering of gifts and talents. Appropriate for 2nd grade and up.
eecnelsen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has many angles you could teach from. I think the biggest lesson is that we are born with nothing and die with nothing. The clown became famous but in the end of his life he was just as he was when he was young. He was poor and had to beg for food. I loved the book it was very touching but I think it would be hard to teach a lesson with.
linford2 More than 1 year ago
I was only recently introduced to this book and, even as a young adult, immediately came to love it. The story is well-written and contains a number of inspiring lessons. I appreciate that the book brought out how we can use our talents not only to uplift and bring joy to others, but to glorify God as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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nikvergara More than 1 year ago
Tomie DePaola is a wonderful writer and this is one of my most favorite books. Every time I read this book I cry, it is so sad but I absolutely LOVE it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I am a mom of three ages 6, 4, and 18 mos. We borrowed it from the library and now we cannot wait to buy it. I am also a high school teacher of Spanish and I have told all the english teachers about it as well. Read more books like these instead of sending your kids to CCD. Thank you Tomie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. The message of doing your best for God, inspired by love for Him is beautifully depicted, inspiring devotion for God while at the same time giving a most valuable model for us to follow, adults as well as children!
Guest More than 1 year ago
and I am a college student at Yale. I've read the classics and the best-sellers, ancient myths and modern works, but none have touched me as deeply as this simple tale of a clown who gives his best...I still cry every time I read it.