incorrect circus book covers

As a person who dabbles in the circus world (I’ve taken flying trapeze and aerial silks classes and attended many a circus event), I have a huge pet peeve when it comes to reading circus books.

Their covers!

Don’t get me wrong, the stories themselves are fine. But the covers… well, let’s just look at a few.

Case in point #1: Trapeze by Leigh Ansell

Okay, so I can’t actually attest to the story on this one, it’s still on my (massive) TBR. But…

This is not a trapeze.

This is aerial silks (and yes, I have in fact done this pose!).

It’s a really cool image, it’s just… not a trapeze.

Case in point #2: Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman

The book description: Harley Milano has dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember.

THIS IS NOT A TRAPEZE! THIS IS AERIAL SILKS!

Furthermore, I’m not sure where the cover artist got this silhouette image, but this is not an aerial silks pose I’m familiar with and in fact, looks physically impossible. One of the silks seems to be wrapped around her (straight) knee when in order to hold her up, it would have to be around her back. Just sayin’.

I did read this one and it was pretty accurate insofar as the trapeze stuff.

Case in point #3: That Time I Joined the Circus

I might be getting a little picky on this one, but…

There are some trapeze artists in the background who are just hurtling through air, sans trapeze. Also, are those elephants playing soccer?

Case in Point #4: Pantomime

I’d only seen the other cover of this book, but stumbled upon this cover and I think it fits. While you could have two aerialists doing static trapeze at the same time, I’ve never seen it. And if this is meant to look like flying trapeze, it fails. There’s only a couple of flying trapeze tricks that involve holding the ropes instead of the bar, and none of them look like this. To be fair, I have not read this book, and the summary only states that the main character is training to be an aerialist, but I did find a review that specifies trapeze.


There are plenty of circus-themed covers that are accurate, and I will say that most of the inaccurate covers are still striking and will appeal to those casually interested in circus-y stories.

Have you ever seen a book cover that is wildly inaccurate, circus or not?

One thought on “incorrect circus book covers

  1. Ali @ In the Lost & Found says:

    I never really give much thought to book covers, but now that I look at Harley in the Sky, it does look completely physically impossible. The cover for That Time I Joined the Circus is kind of hilarious…you are definitely not being picky with that one!

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