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Tuula Pere Author Interview

Circus Cannelloni Invades Britain follows the Cannelloni circus family as they take a much-needed vacation. What was the inspiration for your story?

After I had written the first Circus Cannelloni book, I felt that I had created an extraordinary world with its unique characters. I had spent so much time with that bunch of people that they had become my friends.

This circus crowd was so much alive to me that I almost believed it would continue living on in some imaginary world, even if I no longer wrote about them. So, I couldn’t just leave these circus people, as I wanted to be involved in their lives in the future, too. Besides, the circus is fun to travel with, wherever they go.

I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to place the events of the next book in unusual settings for circus people. So, I built an environment where special situations would make them use their abilities in surprising ways. I also created conflicts with traditions and these more free-spirited persons.

Traveling to the United Kingdom with my circus was already on my mind when I wrote the first Cannelloni book. I hinted at that as I described the friendship between the Cannellonis and a famous tennis master in connection with the charity performance. In this new book, I had a good reason to take the circus crowd to meet this tennis legend at his home. From there, my thoughts set off, and I began to maneuver my troops to face some famous events and traditions in Britain.

It was fun to contrast the atmosphere of the boarding school with the principles and behavior of the Cannelloni couple. There were many other inspiring confrontations; the clowns’ way to play tennis in Wimbledon, a circus rider’s wild race in Ascot, the circus director’s speech at a high-level academic seminar about his leadership practices.

In general, I find it inspiring to look at things from different perspectives. When we are traveling with Circus Cannelloni, there is an excellent opportunity for that!

Your characters all have unique names. How do you select the names of your characters?

Inventing names for the characters is a lot of fun. It is an opportunity to reveal something about the persons’ background, personality, or hidden features. It can also suggest something you can expect to happen later. The name may be practical, sophisticated, humorous, either compatible or inconsistent with the person. It can already tell you something about what’s coming. Maybe I’ll give you some examples.

The names of the Cannelloni family reflect their Italian origin – and point at the lovely Italian cuisine that nourishes both body and soul. The strongman’s name, Budo von Bismarck, carries some strength from “Iron Chancellor” from history, although Budo’s strength is much kinder and more cooperative. Snake woman, Cleopatra has a charm like her predecessor in Egypt. The boarding school headmistress Patricia Highhopes represents her school’s high goals for education. Some financial terms have influenced the name of the bank president Benjamin Everbond; and the snobbish professor Anthony Hemp-Nettles – well, he needs a snobbish name!

In Finland, we say that people cannot be judged by names unless they make themselves infamous. In my Circus Cannelloni books, the characters’ names are meant to be friendly little reminders about diversity and inclusion, too.

Will you be writing any more books about Circus Cannelloni?

I think it’s most probable. In any case, the Circus Canneloni lives its own life in the depths of my imagination, as if it were real. At some point, I will undoubtedly have an irresistible desire to jump on the road again with them.

Two exciting adventures are already tempting me as a writer. I can reveal that one might take place in the world of mass media and movies, and the other one in politics. And I can assure you that in both worlds, the circus crowd makes most unexpected things take place.

Besides, I have a big dream related to the Circus Cannelloni books. Right from the beginning, I’ve seen the stories just like movies in my mind. I’m probably crazy and trying to reach the skies, but I think these adventures would fit perfectly into films or animations. They would make awesome and kid-loved cartoons either as a movie or a series.

Like Madame Rosita, too, I want to think that nothing is impossible if you do your best and you can persuade others to join in!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

This question makes me feel downright nostalgic. I have written a lot and for very different purposes during my life. As a child and young adult, I have written fairy tales, poems, and plays at school and in my free time, too. I also sent my texts to a local magazine. When the other pupils complained about the difficulty of getting started and the dread of a blank paper, I was full of enthusiasm for every new writing task. There were years when I also wrote several pages in my diary every single day.

Then came the time for my law studies and various tasks in the business world, and I had to write a lot of important and impressive texts. There were also years when I wrote my doctor’s thesis in law. All these were, of course, quite different things compared to fairy tales.

I freed myself from previous professional constraints when I dedicated myself to storybooks a dozen years ago. With my imagination, I threw myself back into the same freedom I felt as a child.

At times, I still ponder what I would have accomplished as a children’s writer if I had started earlier in that field. But I’ve realized, however, that all those years of working with other things were necessary. I needed to face all those assignments and take care of various writing tasks to develop as a person and a writer.

Those were the years for preparing to become an author. Without that exercise and accumulated experience, I wouldn’t write in the same way as now. I hope my books reflect something about a lifelong effort as an avid reader, writer, legal scholar, business executive, mother, wife, and grandmother, too.

To my younger self, I would say: Be patient! Take good care of every writing task that comes your way and keep on writing various texts. All this experience is useful when you write stories for the children later!

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The Circus Cannelloni’s finances are looking up, for a change. It’s time to go on holiday together. This motley crew embarks on a trip to England, where they are joined by the Cannellonis’ grandchildren.
The circus crew manages to stir up confusion and fun at a famous horse race, a tennis tournament, and a boarding school run by a tight-lipped headmistress. Mr. Cannelloni gets a chance to lecture at a prestigious university while Madame Cannelloni’s determination wins over even the toughest of opponents.
Many things have changed by the time the circus returns home–with a happily engaged couple and a newborn elephant baby.

It Is About Enjoying Life

Tuula Pere Author Interview

Mr. Cannelloni’s Circus follows the members of a declining circus as they enact a plan to save it and prosper. What was the inspiration for your story?

Years ago, I originally made a career in big companies in various senior executive roles – nothing to do with children’s literature but heavy industry instead. My duties also included managing large numbers of people. That experience is connected to my circus books, as strange as that may sound!

It was interesting to follow how companies operate in different industries with different products and clients. Still, my main observation was the significant impact of the “human factor” everywhere and at all levels of business activities. It is the people who make the company successful or not. Companies are often like small towns or villages – depending on the scale of the activities.

The community action – success or failure – always comes to individuals; how things work out, how problems are solved, how capacity and skills can be utilized. It has always been my motto that behind every role, there is a human being with individual motives and abilities, hopes and fears.

In my other capacity as a legal scholar and former corporate lawyer, I recently have written a long article about the effects of these human factors even in large contractual arrangements of big projects. And indeed, they were in my mind when I wrote Mr. Cannelloni’s Circus and, later, the second book in the series Circus Cannelloni Invades Britain.

The personalities, in particular, involve my own life experience, including my childhood in a small village in the countryside where everyone knew each other. Some of my features have been included. I am an eager cook and baker and share the results with my family and friends in the same way as circus chef Andrei. It’s my pleasure to gather people at a long table for good discussions and show my love in that way. This part of my life is also reflected in the circus books, as the friendly Andrei is always ready to feed the circus personnel in any circumstances and listen to the joys and sorrows of other people.

Madame Rosita is an interesting character that will surprise readers. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Madame Rosita was somewhat of a surprise to me, too. Before starting a book, I always have a preliminary idea of ​​my characters and their role in the story. But sometimes, the actors become very real and take over. They want to be something, do something as if they had a will of their own. I like that a lot because then I know my charters have turned into actual individuals! This metamorphosis happened for Mrs. Rosita, the wife of the circus director. The actual Rosita stepped out as a determined leader of the troops in a demanding situation.

It was also important for me to bring out Rosita’s background piece by piece, explaining what she had become to the reader. The woman’s humble background, previous roles in the circus, and her great longing for beauty help to see in her more than just the lazy director’s wife enjoying luxury. Beneath her vain surface, there is also a warm heart and a lot of determination.

I always find it interesting what kind of skills people can have – both visible and hidden. In many cases, abilities are asleep unless there is demand or opportunity to use them. Sometimes the obstacle is the environment that belittles or discourages the individual. Sometimes the persons lack motivation or don’t believe in their abilities.

I enjoyed writing about how Madame Rosita realized the dramatic situation and her role in saving the circus. She also understood that chaos needed a leader like her. She had all the keys required to motivate the others, too.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The circus provides an excellent background for writing about issues related to the relationship between the individual and the community. It’s a net of different nationalities, personalities, and skills. In my book, there are people of very different backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. Every person – and animal – needs to support each other to perform well together.

Collaboration is essential in human life because none of us will survive alone, even if we would like to think so. There are periods and situations in life when our strength is scarce, and the help of others is needed. The roles of helper and helped person can change in the circus of life, and surprises are inevitable. The more flexible and empathetic we are, the better the cooperation!

And cooperation is not just about fulfilling responsibilities – it is about enjoying life! Combining different people with various skills together can be a lot of fun at its best. Finland has a long tradition of unofficial teamwork among relatives and friends –even in whole villages working together in the country. The community has worked together on the field, built a road or fence, or painted the cottage. After the task is done, there might be time for good food and some celebration together. That’s what the people in my circus do.

To make life human for everybody, the individuals must understand and tolerate each other. We need to be aware of both our differences and our similarities. This creates a working balance when it’s combined with respect for each other.

It’s also good to avoid too hasty conclusions about other people without knowing them. Surprises can be found beneath the surface if you take the time to explore.

When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

I had a lot of fun writing a book about Cannellon’s circus. It felt like I was involved in their incredible adventure and traveled with the circus people – even finally crossed the Alps. What a journey it was!

It was almost weird to reach the point when the characters I created started to decide for themselves what to do and where to go. I knew the true events roughly, but many surprises came up. The adventure also took me with it. Just like I was there to watch events. I turned my gaze to different places and saw what was happening around me, like in real life. Sometimes the characters objected to my plans and unexpectedly wanted to do something independently. I listened to them, and we had an unforgettable journey together!

Some of the twists and turns of the story surprised me, too—likewise some of the people. Madame Rosita, in particular, revealed abilities and determination that I did not know at first. She manifested to me how she wanted the story to develop in some special turns. She grew into an actual power figure in the circus.

It was fun to notice that as the story progressed, new beginnings opened, some kind of side stories and ideas that I later took into account in the events of my next Cannelloni story. The circus characters became so dear and familiar to me that I have already published another book – Circus Cannelloni Invades Britain – about them.

The following books are already developing in my head – I can hardly wait to begin writing again.

The circus music is already echoing in my ears.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Mr. Cannelloni’s circus has been operating for generations—ever since his great-grandfather started it one hundred years ago. But with ticket sales dropping and the circus equipment falling into disrepair, the future of Cannelloni’s Circus looks bleak, especially when a strict special inspector arrives to look things over.
Luckily Mr. Cannelloni’s wife, Rosita—once a daring tightrope walker—has some new bold stunts in mind. With the help of a snake woman, a strongman, daredevil horsemen, and other circus performers, Rosita launches “Operation Hannibal.” Will her risky rescue plan be enough to save Mr. Cannelloni’s Circus?

Circus Cannelloni Invades Britain

The Cannellonis are among the most unique of families. From the clowns and the strong man to the elephants and the snake woman, Cleopatra, they are as close as close can be. When the opportunity presents itself, the entire Circus Cannelloni decides to pack up and take a vacation in England. Though it is quite the undertaking, Madame Rosita is determined to make the trip happen as she has set her sights on including her grandchildren in the fun. Theirs is a somewhat dismal existence in their boarding school, and Rosita feels it is past time to break them free for a bit.

Circus Cannelloni Invades Britain, by Tuula Pere, is the sweet story of a circus family who takes time out of their daily lives to travel for pleasure together while spreading their own kind of cheer. Virtually everywhere this group lands, they brighten someone’s day. Throughout their journey, they make a positive impact on everyone they encounter.

Pere has masterfully created a cast of characters that will pique readers’ interest. The idea of a circus family is foreign to many readers, but it has the perfect amount of appeal to capture readers from the first pages. Younger readers will find themselves lost in the parallel storylines involving the Cannellonis’s grandchildren, the birth of the new elephant calf, and Kasimir’s race of a lifetime.

Circus Cannelloni Invades Britain is written for upper elementary readers, and they will find this to be a unique and engaging journey. In addition, Pere’s work is short enough to not feel overwhelming which makes it a great choice for those looking to break into chapter books in the realistic fiction genre. Pere’s precious cast of characters is memorable and, in their own special way, relatable. This captivating story would be a great addition for teachers looking for fiction components to include in a unit on Great Britain.

Pages: 146 | ISBN : 9523570765

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Mr. Cannelloni’s Circus

Ernesto Cannelloni’s family has owned a circus for generations, going on one hundred years. Now the circus is falling on hard times and Ernesto cannot see a way to save the circus. His wife Rosita discovers the circus is out of money and confronts Ernesto. Together they agree to find a way to save the circus and all the entertainers that have become their family. Rosita puts aside her fancy clothes and gets to work developing a five-step plan that will revive the circus. The plan is named Operation Hannibal and it will take the help of the entire circus family to pull this off.

Author Tuula Pere has created a fascinating world in this entertaining children’s book. Each of the characters has a distinct personality and everyone’s job is important. Tuule Pere is also the illustrator of this book, and her drawings bring the characters to life. Readers will get to know the characters through their roles as circus performers and from their part in Operation Hannibal. There is a lot of depth to the characters that you do not always find in children’s books. The character of Madame Rosita is especially dynamic.

The plan to save the circus does not go off as easily as planned, the inspector shows up ready to put them out of business and through a twist of fate ends up being part of their merry band. This imaginative book has many unexpected twists such as this throughout. Readers will be turning the pages to find out what calamity will happen next that Rosita must guide them out of.

Mr. Cannelloni’s Circus is written for older elementary and middle school readers. This captivating tale will enchant readers with the life of the circus and endear them with the compassion and the fellowship of the entertainers.

Pages: 72 | ASIN : B07J3LHR86

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