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Children's Literature @ NYPL

Booktalking "The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse" by Eric Carle


Ever wanted a yellow cow? How about a green salamander? Or a turquoise frog? You will not find any salamanders or frogs in this book. And if you did, they would not be green or blue. However, the yellow cow is a winner in this tale.

This book enlists kids to use their imaginations when considering how to draw and color animals in perhaps different colors from those which adorn them in nature. A lovely blue horse appears on the cover. A kid uses a varied color palette from which to paint animals. Lovely double-page spreads are reserved for each animal. The red crocodile is ferocious. A purple fox traverses the landscape on another spread. Even a polka-dotted donkey hangs out in the book.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle, 2011

Eric Carle has lovely illustrations in his works that look like paper machete creations. Often, he uses much white space in his drawings. In addition to the ever-famous The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he has many other literary works including From Head to Toe. A brilliant children's librarian taught me how to use that book for fantabulous story times by acting out the book. He touched the different body parts as they were described in the book while displaying Eric Carle's illustrations to the kids. He invited the kids to join in and gesture with him, which got the kids up, active and really engaged with reading.

Picture books are invaluable for the development of early literacy skills. Eric Carle is over 80 years old now, but he is still going strong with the birth of this book and hopefully more like it. I love many of his books; they are very thoughtful and thought-provoking.


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