Books by Eric Carle

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 23, 2019

"Good for young audiences and their grown-ups looking for something quick, enjoyable, but not too filling. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)"
Fourteen renowned author/illustrators share musings about their favorite foods. Read full book review >
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BUG? by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 31, 2018

"A terrific prompt and conversation starter for young artists. (Picture book. 2-9)"
A lively collection of illustrations of crawling, creeping, and flying creatures offers a look at the versatility of several well-known children's artists. Read full book review >
MY FIRST I SEE YOU by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 10, 2018

"Carle's illustrations are lovely as always, but this repackaging seems unnecessary—more marketing ploy than essential purchase. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)"
Carle's iconic illustrations are recycled for a new generation of toddlers. Read full book review >
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"A book certain to engross and enthrall. (biographies, photographs, websites) (Picture book. 2-8)"
Carle's latest collection of compositions by artistic friends—assembled to support his eponymous museum—celebrates the splendor of color. Read full book review >
MY FIRST PEEK-A-BOO ANIMALS  by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 6, 2017

"A bright and friendly but no more than serviceable board book. (Board book. 1-2)"
Little readers play peekaboo with animals. Read full book review >
MY FIRST BUSY BOOK by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"A satisfying package that will indeed keep toddlers busy—exemplary. (Board book. 2-4)"
The latest addition to the World of Eric Carle is proof that the Wilder Award-winning picture-book creator knows what appeals to children. Read full book review >
THE NONSENSE SHOW by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A picture book made to incite pleasure and joy. (Picture book. 3-7)"
The celebrated picture-book artist enthusiastically joins the nonsense tradition. Read full book review >
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL? by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 21, 2014

"This menagerie offers picture-book lovers of all ages a glimpse into each creator's style, personality and brand of humor. (biographies, photographs, websites) (Picture book. 4-8)"
Cause-related anthologies are challenging to do well, but this one (benefiting the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art) succeeds admirably—on multiple levels. Read full book review >
FRIENDS by Eric Carle
by Eric Carle, illustrated by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 19, 2013

"Nevertheless, children will identify with the longing to be with distant loved ones and will revel in the sheer joy of Carle's forms, colors and textures. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Carle revisits the timeless topic that he explored with Kazuo Iwamura in the bilingual animal journey Where Are You Going? To See My Friend! (2001); this time, a boy yearns for the girl who moved away. Read full book review >
THE ARTIST WHO PAINTED A BLUE HORSE by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Eye-catching fun. (Picture book. 2-5)"
This bright new entry by an old pro should find a place on the long shelf of picture books about animals and colors. Read full book review >
THE RABBIT AND THE TURTLE by Aesop
by Aesop, adapted by Eric Carle, illustrated by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2008

In this freshened-up reissue of Twelve Tales from Aesop (1980), the art goes to full-page and is reprinted in bright, glowing colors, while the familiar fables have been rearranged and given explicit morals. One story has been dropped (possibly due to disputed origins), and the rest lightly edited; the mouse in "The Lion and the Mouse," for instance, is now female. Each tale appears on the left-hand page with its corresponding illustration on the facing page, making for a sometimes text-heavy experience. Eric Carle's Treasury of Classic Stories for Children (1988) also includes versions of all of these—but where the earlier renditions aren't available, this makes an appealing choice for sharing with younger children or with readers who might prefer a "Grasshopper and the Ants" in which the grasshopper survives. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8) Read full book review >
BABY BEAR, BABY BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE? by Bill Martin Jr.
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

In its fourth—and billed as final—iteration, this primary level Q-and-A introduces ten North American mammals, from red fox and blue heron to rattlesnake, mule deer and finally (unspecified, but possibly Kodiak) Mama Bear. As always, Carle's spread-filling painted-paper constructs capture a true sense of the animals' looks, depicting each in a natural pose, gazing invitingly up at young viewers. As with its predecessors, the introduction of new material within a familiar, interactive structure makes a winning formula for keying new and pre-readers into colors, sequences and nature. Martin died in 2004—here's a fitting close to what will likely remain his most lasting work for children. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
10 LITTLE RUBBER DUCKS by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

Ten rubber ducks are packed in a box and tied to a boat. A storm blows up on their trip across the ocean, spills them out, and they drift in different directions. One encounters a dolphin, another meets up with a seal, and so on. The tenth rubber toy runs into a family of wild ducks and they all nestle down under a friendly moon. Laura Ingalls Wilder Award-recipient and perennial favorite Carle revisits the counting-book format with his unmistakable blocky, painted collages. All of his well-known components are present: a list of animals—many of them recognizable from earlier works—repeated words and phrases, bright friendly art on lots of white background, and a noisemaker at the end. He offers his take on the 1992 news story that inspired Eve Bunting and David Wisniewski to create Ducky (1997). While not Carle's best work, it still has those saturated colors that have such appeal. Audiences of one or many will enjoy it, especially if they get to press the duck and make him squeak. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2004

The striking single seahorse gracing the cover of this tribute to aquatic fatherhood could never be mistaken as anything other than one of Carle's consummately creative collage creatures. The graphically arresting cover leads to rows of baby seahorses swimming across the endpapers and then on to a wonderful variety of jewel-toned fish set against white backgrounds with just the suggestion of pale blue and green waves in bold strokes of watercolor. The star of this underwater show, Mr. Seahorse, swims through his underwater home as he carries the eggs that Mrs. Seahorse has laid. He greets other fathers that are carrying eggs or caring for their young, complementing each fish on his fine work. The father fish alternate with other kinds of fish that Mr. Seahorse doesn't see because they are hiding behind camouflage elements such as seaweed and coral, which are overprinted on clear acrylic pages. These camouflage pages illustrate how different kinds of fish can hide themselves, but as each of these special pages is turned to cover Mr. Seahorse, the reader sees how he can hide himself as well. The simple, thoughtfully told story includes repetitive phrases and a predictable structure with an emotionally satisfying ending as Mr. Seahorse sends his babies out into the watery world. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
WHERE ARE YOU GOING? TO SEE MY FRIEND! by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2003

A unique venture between two friends, who happen to be famous artists. In a simple cumulative tale of friendship, a dog, a cat, a rooster, a goat, a rabbit, and a child repeatedly pose the question and answer of the title. What makes this book singular is that Carle's characters are marching along from front to back, left to right, in typical Western style. At the middle, the story is joined in a broad open-out, four-page spread by Iwamura's story that is a mirror image of Carle's, the exception being that the child in Carle's story is a boy and Iwamura's is a girl. The boy and girl greet each other with hands extended in symbolic greeting. This works ingeniously because the Iwamura story is told from back to front and right to left as is typical of Japanese books. When the Carle characters and the Iwamura characters meet in the middle, they merge and mingle in a merry frolic. Carle's figures are created with his recognizably bold collage technique. Iwamura's sweet-faced, gently rounded figures are painted in soft watercolors that contrast nicely with Carle's more vibrant palette. Carle's text is in English, while Iwamura's is written in Japanese characters accompanied by a pronunciation guide. Short, informative essays by Carle and Iwamura, which describe their collaboration, are printed inside the book jacket, which may, unfortunately, render them inaccessible to library patrons. Since Japanese animal sounds have an interesting onomatopoetic difference from our own, while Westerners would need to rehearse to give the Japanese story a lively cadence that would hold the attention of the youngest listeners, this would make a wonderful opportunity for tandem reading in a bilingual story time. This will be especially welcome in communities with a Japanese population. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
“SLOWLY, SLOWLY, SLOWLY,” SAID THE SLOTH by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Carle (Dream Snow, 2000, etc.) branches out to feature a lesser-known yet fascinating animal in a paean to taking it easy. Appropriately soporific text recounts a sloth's daily activities: sleeping, waking, eating, and hanging from a branch, all of which he does slowly, slowly, slowly. Despite the fact that hardly anything happens, this depiction of a day in the life of a sloth is never boring; riotous colors abound in Carle's intricate painted-tissue, paper-collage jungle, which teems with life. Dozens of animals can be spotted among the vines, flowers, trees, and grass; a key at the end shows each creature and provides its name, encouraging readers to go back and look for them. A howler monkey, a caiman, an anteater, and a jaguar visit the sloth and ask him why he is so slow, so quiet, so boring, and so lazy. After thinking for a long, long time, sloth admits to being "slow, quiet and boring," as well as "lackadaisical . . . unflappable, languid, stoic, impassive, sluggish, lethargic, placid, calm, mellow, laid-back and, well, slothful!" He is also a welcome example for all: "I am relaxed and tranquil, and I like to live in peace." But he denies being lazy. A foreword by renowned zoologist Jane Goodall explains her fascination with sloths, and sets the stage for children's burgeoning interest. There is room in everyone's life for a little peace and quiet, and this introduction to an animal that is the epitome of tranquillity will be welcome at bedtime, or anytime. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
DREAM SNOW by Eric Carle
by Eric Carle, illustrated by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

The venerable and prolific Carle (Hello, Red Fox, 1998, etc.) offers a quiet Christmas story with a little music at the end. A farmer lives alone on a small farm with so few animals that he calls them One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Oh, he also has a tree named Tree. One night near Christmas he falls asleep in his favorite chair after his peppermint tea, and dreams that he is covered in a white blanket. On successive pages, One the horse, Two the Cow, Three the sheep, and so on are each covered in a snowflake blanket, accomplished by an acetate page of flakes and an amorphous shape that when turned reveals the animal. When the farmer awakes and finds it has snowed for real, he dresses himself warmly, decorates Tree, and strews gifts for all five animals under it. When he shouts "Merry Christmas to all!" he pushes a button that children can push, producing a lovely Yuletide tinkle. The pictures are in Carle's trademark richly colored and textured collages that capture the snowy magic of Christmas. Adults may be charmed to see that Carle dedicates the book to Barry Moser, who modeled for the farmer, although from the photo on the back cover Carle and Moser could pass for brothers with their shiny pates and neat white beards. Cotton candy.(Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
HELLO, RED FOX by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1998

Carle (From Head to Toe, 1997) asks readers to engage in optical illusions to view his illustrations for a story that becomes an unforgettable lesson in complementary colors. By staring at a picture—e.g., the green fox on the cover- -for ten seconds or longer, and then looking at a blank page, the picture reappears, in this case, the red fox of the title. The end papers feature helpful color circles so readers can locate colors and thus their complements. The story is minimal: As the animal guests arrive at Little Frog's birthday party, they appear to Mama Frog to be the wrong color—for example, Yellow Bird is purple—until Little Frog teaches her the trick. Although it may take children time to master the gimmick (and the ghostly after- image, without the details of the original picture, may not meet their expectations), the ending neatly wraps this visual tale, with Mama Frog's kiss transforming the green Little Frog to blushing red. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
FROM HEAD TO TOE by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 11, 1997

Carle (Little Cloud, 1996, etc.) takes as his premise that animals don't have to go to the gym—their natural movements give them plenty of exercise. "I am a giraffe and I bend my neck. Can you do it?" asks the animal of the child. "I can do it!" is the invariable reply. If readers participate in the gestures shown on every page, they'll get something of a work-out, for the analogies are good: foot-stomping elephants, clapping seals, and shoulder-hunching buffalo are enticingly imitatable. The book's large size and bold, brightly colored animals make it ideal for story hours. Unusual for Carle—and highlighted by the emphasis on action—is the stiffness of the collages: Neither children nor animals convey a sense of motion, but appear locked into place. Linda Lowery's Twist With a Burger, Jitter With a Bug (1995) inspires similar participation, but is a more rhythmic and vivacious book. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
THE ART OF ERIC CARLE by Eric Carle
Released: Sept. 4, 1996

An agreeable overview of Carle's life and work, a consideration of the genesis of his ideas, a look at how he fashions his collages, and admiring words from some of his colleagues. There are repetitions, e.g., the story of how The Very Hungry Caterpillar came into existence is related at least three times. Throughout are photographs and reproductions of art; the book closes with more samples of Carle's work and an international bibliography of his published books. (Autobiography. 8+) Read full book review >
LITTLE CLOUD by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 6, 1996

A sophisticated idea deftly packed into a simple text. Little Cloud drifts away from its flock and turns into different shapes: sheep, airplane, trees, clown. Carle (A Very Lonely Firefly, 1995, etc.) has created a memorable protagonist and an appropriately abstract and formless plot. The text is printed on background the color of sky, on which appear clouds: familiar fluffy shapes covered with white and icy blue brushstrokes. As usual, Carle employs a limited number of elements, each under tight control. This restraint is precisely what gives the book its overall depth, imparting to the story and pictures a sense of possibility. The result is a philosophical suggestion, scaled to a child's sensibility, as open to interpretation as the passing clouds. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
THE VERY LONELY FIREFLY by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 1995

Twenty-five years after The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1968) ate his way through a remarkable book, another Very book, about a firefly in search of company, shows a master of bold, dramatic design in search of a story. A lone firefly "born as the sun sets" follows a family's candle, flashlight, and lantern to a quarreling dog, cat, and owl, whose eyes reflect lights. The family drives to a fireworks display. The firefly follows their headlights and finds a sky full of fireflies, tails blinking. With or without batteries, Carle's creations have plenty of spark; what he needs is a warmer, friendlier story. Except for the endearing firefly and owl, the characters are static and the balloons of text out of place in the artwork. The finished book is to include battery-powered flashing tails; an author's note appears on the book jacket. (Picture book. 3-8) Read full book review >
THE APRON by Eric Carle
by Eric Carle, illustrated by Eric Carle
FICTION
Released: Sept. 15, 1994

As an eight-year-old boy, Carle (Today is Monday, 1993, etc.) spent two vacation days with his Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Adam. Uncle Adam was a plasterer and wore a great big white apron that young Eric coveted, so Aunt Elizabeth made him a smaller version of his very own. Wearing his new apron, Eric went to work with his uncle and helped him plaster the chimney of a house. Eric was a "good helper." Carle writes a letter at the end of the book explaining the autobiographical events more fully, but the story here is clearly secondary to Carle's splendid signature tissue-paper collages (the Fernand Léger-inspired laborer is especially good). The story itself has people saying "thank you" and men wearing aprons—for the PC-inclined—but otherwise has little to offer. The included apron is, of course, pure kitsch. Magnificent illustrations, the story is filler. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5+) Read full book review >
TODAY IS MONDAY by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 24, 1993

Carle's illustrations for this catchy, lighthearted cumulative song ("...today is Tuesday, Tuesday spaghetti, Monday string beans, All you hungry children Come and eat it up") originally appeared in 1977 as a frieze; they are even more welcome in this attractive book showing a porcupine eating the beans, an elephant slopping up Wednesday's "ZOOOOP," a cat snitching Thursday's roast beef, and so on. Rendered in Carle's trademark luminescent tissue-paper collage, the glowing animals are handsomely set off by the expansive white ground. A concluding scene with seven children sharing a meal makes a satisfying finale. Music included, but the song isn't sourced. (Picture book. 3-8) Read full book review >
DRAW ME A STAR by Eric Carle
FICTION
Released: Sept. 16, 1992

A remarkable, quintessentially simple book encompassing Creation, creativity, and the cycle of life within the eternal. Introduced on the title page as a toddler drawing the first of five lines to make a star, an artist ages until, at the end, he's an old man who takes hold of a star to travel the night sky. Meanwhile, the first star says, "Draw me the sun"; the sun says, "Draw me a tree," and so on: woman and man; house, dog, cat, bird, butterfly, flowers, cloud; a rainbow arching over the middle-aged artist's whole creation; and back to the night and the stars. Carle's trademark style—vibrant tissue collage on dramatic white—is wonderfully effective in expressing the joy of creation, while the economy with which he conveys these universal ideas gives them extraordinary power. Yet the story is disarmingly childlike, concluding with an ingenuous letter from the author with instructions for drawing an eight-point star. Thanks be to the book for asking Carle to "draw" it! (Picture book. 3+) Read full book review >
POLAR BEAR, POLAR BEAR, WHAT DO YOU HEAR? by Bill Martin Jr.
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

After a full generation, a companion to a perennial favorite (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, 1967). In the interim, Carle's bold, colorful art has become a bit more sophisticated, though no more appealing. The pattern is similar: in response to a query modeled on the title, each animal now hears the next—the flamingo says, "I hear a zebra braying in my ear," the zebra hears a boa constrictor hissing; and so on. At the end, a zookeeper hears a group of children, each imitating one of the animals. Attractive but not quite up to its predecessor: the text seems a little strained (especially some of the attributed voices—do peacocks yelp?), and the conclusion lacks the extra levels of meaning that made Brown Bear special. (Picture book. 2- 6) Read full book review >
ERIC CARLE'S DRAGONS DRAGONS by Laura Whipple
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 18, 1991

A second well-chosen, gorgeously illustrated collection of poetry in the style of Animals Animals (1989). Not only dragons but a worldwide collection of fabulous beasts—yeti, Quetzalcoatl, okolo, Pan, kracken, and many more—appear in poems that range a bit in quality as well as origin. The interest level is consistently high—especially when coupled with Carle's flamboyant art. Whipple concludes gracefully with the closing speech from A Midsummer Night's Dream, and also contributes a glossary with its own intelligent introduction. Index. (Poetry/Picture book. 3+) Read full book review >
ERIC CARLE'S ANIMALS ANIMALS by Laura Whipple
POETRY
Released: Aug. 17, 1989

First, a word for the anthologist: the 62 poems Whipple has assembled as companions to Carle's flamboyant art are so splendid that they could easily stand alone; such greats as Dickinson, Sandburg, and Kipling appear along with numerous children's favorites—e.g., Worth, Behn, Coatsworth. Mostly familiar, they also include a few surprises and some international entries. Altogether, they are so good that on first reading the yen to share them aloud is even greater than the yen to share the art—rich and wonderful as it is. Carle's technique—collages of textured, translucent tissue paper that he prepares himself, combined with directly painted areas—is familiar from his deservedly popular picture books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar: 6,000,000 copies). In this generously sized volume, it is used to full advantage. There's plenty of visual variety—a whale that stretches over two double spreads; a giraffe for which the book is turned 90 degrees; a few pages where several poems appear (each with its own small illustration); as well as many grand double spreads of creatures from tawny camels marching over the desert to a glorious blue-and-green hippo. No author index, but there is an index of animals as well as an index of first lines. A treat! Read full book review >
ERIC CARLE'S TREASURY OF CLASSIC STORIES by Hans Christian Andersen
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1988

Twenty-two folk and fairy tales assembled from the author-illustrator's previous collections from Aesop (11), Andersen (7), and Grimm (4), which are all currently out of print, with emphasis on less familiar stories. In his simplified retellings, Carle attempts to preserve their essence while pruning descriptive passages that might prove difficult for early readers. Most successful are his entertaining, if undistinguished, versions of Aesop's fables and the Grimm stories; Andersen, on the other hand, has been so substantially cut that the stories (especially "The Magic Boots" and "The Marsh King's Daughter," for which the conclusion has been secularized) have lost their original focus. Carle's collage-style illustrations and the book's inviting design are plusses. Not a primary purchase, but a fair additional one. Read full book review >
A HOUSE FOR A HERMIT CRAB by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: March 15, 1988

Month by month, a hermit crab gathers other sea creatures (anemone, starfish, coral, etc.) to decorate his shell home; as the year ends, it is comfortably familiar and suits him perfectly—but (as often happens with human habitations in young readers' experience) has become too small. Rueful but undaunted, he gives it to a smaller crab and chooses a larger shell, "plain" but just right for a new cycle of additions. Though anthropomorphized in the text, Hermit Crab's behavior (if not the number of his legs) is authentic to the species, and Carle even includes some brief explanatory notes about him and a half-dozen of the other creatures he encounters. His illustrations are outstanding: richly textured, bright areas of deep color are crisply cut to form bold shapes deployed against stark white. The style will be familiar to Carle's admirers, but has been used to particularly good advantage here; the portrayal of the undersea world is in no sense realistic, but the illustrations convey the beauty and magic of that world. Fine for picture book hour or private sharing. Read full book review >
WATCH OUT!  A GIANT! by Eric Carle
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 19, 1978

This is one of Carle's junkier gimmicks, with all sorts of peep holes through pages and trap doors that open, but these cutouts are not coordinated with the rudimentary story and many are not even coordinated with the other pictures they open onto. What goes on, in coarse, scribbled-over collages, is a sort of chase whereby two children grope their way through dungeon and tunnel and so on, to escape the giant who has caught them and plans to eat them. But it's not worth trying to follow, as the distractions overwhelm. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1974

"In Atlanta one autumn day an absolutely absurd accordion-playing ape named Arthur felt all alone." But then in Baltimore he befriended a bashful banjo-playing bear named Ben, in Cincinnati he came across a cool calico cat named Cindy, and by the time he's encountered a magnificent mouse named Max in Memphis, a silly sun-scorched seal named Sally south of Seattle, and all the other flat black woodcut animals needed to complete the alphabet, we've seen so many crowded pages and heard so many identical introductions ("In Jacksonville he met. . . . In Kansas City he met. . . . In Louisville he met. . . .") that a little solitude would be welcome. However, Carle's colored closeup photos — of the Bloomingdale B, Luchow's neon L, and other brass, tile, raised or painted upper case letters on variously textured surfaces — do give children a new and open ended way of viewing their ABC's. Read full book review >
WHY NOAH CHOSE THE DOVE by Elizabeth Shub
RELIGION
Released: March 15, 1974

Eric Carle couldn't ask for a more suitable showcase than Singer's short and obvious fable about how an elephant, a lion, a fox and 31 other animals vie to be taken onto the ark — each one claiming priority on grounds of being strongest, largest, cleverest, or whatever. At last the dove, when his turn comes round, reminds them all anticlimactically that "each one of us has something the other does not have" and Noah agrees that there is no need to boast and compete, for God has ordered him to take creatures of all kinds. Actually the pictures only strengthen our suspicion that Carle can't illustrate a story; instead he merely displays his one-note repertoire of flat, collagey animal portraits. Of course the sheer scale and number of animals on parade could make this a nursery success. Read full book review >
I SEE A SONG by Eric Carle
FICTION
Released: April 23, 1973

Eric Carle's admirers will no doubt be dazzled by these childlike paint and paper collages, full of splash and color but signifying next to nothing. There's a crescent moon in blue next to a gold and orange sun, and on other pages fish, stylized human figures and facial features, and flowers made of dappled strips — all rearrangements of scraps that appear elsewhere as sheer, seemingly random patterns. A similarly patched violinist bowing at the start and finish is a reminder that it's all to be viewed as visual music — we'd call it sounding brass. Read full book review >
VERY LONG TRAIN by Eric Carle
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 6, 1972

Wordless non-books, each folded to a trim 8fl x 6(apple) but reaching when opened the Very Long dimensions promised in the titles. The tail, curled up on the first panel and attached to a head that appears on the last, stretches along the bottom of the ten intervening "pages" which become a kind of bargain basement frieze in wild Wildsmith-y colors of an unimaginatively represented hippopotamus, lion, seal, monkey, peacock, and kangaroo. The train, between blue engine and caboose, is a series of open cars filled with animals of the same hackneyed ilk. This might do to decorate the top of the picture book cases if there were not so many picture books with more attractive covers and more rewarding contents. Read full book review >
WALTER THE BAKER by Eric Carle
FICTION
Released: March 22, 1972

Beginning invitingly with "warm smells" of bread, rolls, cakes, tarts and cookies (and a cat perched on a red-brick oven) Walter the baker's story ends lamely when he invents the pretzel in answer to the duke's demand for a roll containing "the rising sun, the noontime sun and the setting sun" (the pretzel, Walter explains, has three holes through which the sun can shine). The splashy tissue-paper collages of coarsely comic peasant figures and a cozy half-timbered town are as pointlessly hybrid as the tale. Read full book review >
THE SECRET BIRTHDAY MESSAGE by Eric Carle
FICTION
Released: Feb. 21, 1972

A gimmick for the book store trade, full of cut-outs and peep holes and childlike splashes, all leading (into a cave, down some stairs, through a door, etc.) to a big-eared puppy posed cutely in a basket with a "happy birthday" tag. The last double page retraces the whole route so that readers can "find (their) way back," but they'll be better off avoiding the whole misguided tour. Read full book review >
PANCAKES, PANCAKES! by Eric Carle
FICTION
Released: Oct. 26, 1970

Like Pelle's new suit but without its incidental pleasantries, Jack's breakfast pancake is a joint enterprise: wheat from the field, flour from the miller, an egg from the hen, milk from the cow, plus, via Jack, butter from the churn, wood from the woodshed and strawberry jam from the cellar. Then, with more instructions, the mixing, the frying, the turning. . . until, finally, "Oh, Mama, I know what to do now!" The illustrations, a frieze of many-colored, multi-'textured forms, lack the concentration of the text, and the splotchy red flesh is uninviting. A likely idea, an unprepossessing presentation. Read full book review >
THE TINY SEED by Eric Carle
illustrated by Eric Carle
NATURE
Released: Sept. 21, 1970

The unnatural history of a seed smaller than the others ("Will it be able to keep up. . . ?") that sails on while one, flying too high, is burned up by the sun (flames, yet) and a second "falls into the water and drowns." Once landed, the little seed's luck holds: it is invisible to the bird that eats another seed (though not to us), ditto the mouse wintering under the ground, and though it's a late-bloomer ("Hurry!") it doesn't stop growing until it overtops houses and trees to become "a giant flower." Comes fall it scatters its seeds to the wind, starting the cyclorama again. So scaled, the illustrations are gross in either sense of the word. Read full book review >