Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clowns will visit several libraries in Ellis County as part of a reading initiative.

Join Slappy and Monday, the circus’ goodwill ambassadors for some fun and answers to such questions as, “What does it take to soar on the flying trapeze? and “What goes into those cream pies that clowns throw?”

The clowns’ schedule includes a visit to the Red Oak Public Library from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, June 4, and June 15 visits to the Ferris Public Library (10-11 a.m.), the Ennis Public Library (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) and Nicholas P. Sims Library (from 2-3 p.m.).

At each stop, the clowns will present a special 30-minute circus storytime that will encourage children “not only to read, but also to discover, dream and learn,” a spokesman said. “It allows them to dream big.”

The event is free at each stop and open to the public. By enrolling in a summer reading program at the library, each participating child will receive a free circus ticket as well as bookmarks, clown noses, puzzles and coloring sheets.

Johnson County libraries that are participating in the reading initiative include those in Alvarado and Venus.

This year is the 136th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, widely known a the “Greatest Show on Earth.” With a theme of “Circus of Dreams,” the circus comes to the Metroplex with performances Aug. 1-12 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and Aug. 15-19 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

For more information, check with the libraries or visit online at www.readingwithringling.com. The circus Web site is at www.ringling.com.