WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF ERIC CARLE

By Barbara Bietz

Reviews of Children’s Books

Animal picture books are popular among the young set, but there is one author/illustrator who sets the standard for timeless, colorful, charming books that kids and their parents love. Eric Carle is probably best known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar,, which tells the story of a caterpillar’s gastronomic adventures complete with holes in the pages to represent the bites he takes. Carle’s playful use of collage techniques gives colorful texture to his illustrations. The rhyming schemes in his stories are simple, yet endearing, and many children have whole books memorized years before they become independent readers. Here are some “can’t miss” favorites by Eric Carle:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

The story is told in a series of questions that kids can answer before turning the page. The large illustrations make this book a favorite among the really young readers. It’s a great opportunity to review colors and other basics concepts. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Is a perfect story to read aloud.

The Very Quiet Cricket

For kids who love insects, and even those who don’t! This sweet tale of a cricket in search of his voice, as well as a sense of belonging, is sure to please youngsters. The colorful illustrations bring an unexpected charm to crickets. One warning: The Very Quiet Cricket includes a battery operated sound device that makes the sound of a cricket. Kids will love it – parents beware!

The Grouchy Ladybug

The ladybug picks on others, and is a rather unpleasant insect. However, she eventually turns things around, and this book provides an opportunity for adults to talk with youngsters about interacting with others and making friends. The ladybug may not start out as a great role model, but hey – we all get a little grouchy sometimes, don’t we?

If you really love picture books and live in the Amherst. MA, be sure to check out the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The museum features work by Carle as well as a variety of other picture book illustrators. Check out the website for more information about the museum and programs available: http://www.picturebookart.org/

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz, -Childrens' Books and Movie Section, is a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. She loves talking about the creative process, books and the craft of writing. Her middle-grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE,(Yotzeret Publishing) is a PJ Library selection. Barbara reviews books and movies and has contributed to numerous print and online publications. She also teaches writing classes for adults. Learn more about Barbara at www.BarbaraBietz.com
Barbara Bietz

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