STAY: The True Story of Ten Dogs. By Michaela Muntean. Photography by K.C. Bailey and Steve Kazmierski. Scholastic Press. 40 pages. $16.99. For ages 4-8.

If you could capture the magic of the circus in a picture book, you’d end up with “Stay.”

This fascinating tale tells the story of Luciano Anastasinia, a seventh-generation circus performer, and his lovable canine crew.

Anastasinia rescues his pups from the pound and decides to learn a thing or two about them before deciding how to put an act together. He discovers that Penny is a cross-eyed bichon frise and Bowser is a kleptomaniacal beagle mix.

Not a trainer, Anastasinia shows remarkable patience with his animal buddies and develops a true understanding of how to work with them.

If you find something you like to do, work is fun. And that is how they put together a successful circus act.

The vivid photographs that illustrate “Stay” tell a wonderful story of understanding and love. When combined with playful text, a fantasy trip to the big top develops with a tale about overcoming obstacles and second chances that even young readers can understand and enjoy.

McGeath Freeman reviews children’s books for Lowcountry Parent magazine. To see previous reviews, go to www.