Storytime with Jessica – Eric Carle

Eric Carle is an amazing author and illustrator of some of the most wonderful children’s picture books.

I’m sure you’re aware of some of his titles: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, The Artist Painted a Blue Horse, etc. I even talked about him in a previous post. Today I wanted to highlight some of his possible less well-known books.

The Books

Link to Catalogue record for Draw Me a Star

Draw Me a Star

An artist’s drawing of a star begins the creation of an entire universe around him as each successive pictured object requests that he draw more.

The book starts with an artist drawing a star, then, as above, each drawing asks the artist to draw another thing that adds to the world of the book. A house, a sun, a dog, etc. Eventually, the artist is asked to draw a star again. Another thing you will see along the journey through the book is how the artist ages. Eric Carle often includes himself in his books as ‘the artist’. This is a very sweet book that really feels like a journey that was very close to the author.

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth

Slowly, slowly, slowly . . . that’s how the sloth lives. He hangs upside-down from the branch of a tree, night and day, in the sun and in the rain, while the other animals of the rain forest rush past him. “Why are you so slow? Why are you so quiet? Why are you so lazy?” the others ask the sloth. And, after a long, long, long time, the sloth finally tells them
Set in the lush world of the tropical rain forest, this original picture book is an exquisite showcase of Eric Carle’s colorful collage art-with a meaningful message: Slow down Take time to enjoy your world.

Sloths have now become synonymous with the idea of slowing down and taking your time with things but first published 19 years ago in 2002, this book might have led the way. It’s great showcase for different animals that might not always appear in picture books including: caimans, anteaters, and jaguars (there is even a glossary at the end) but the thing I really, really love about this book is the last page when the sloth finally answers all of the questions with so many rich, delightful, uncommon describing words.

Link to Catalogue record for
Link to Catalogue record for

Mister Seahorse

In most fish families, after the mother has laid the eggs and the father has fertilized them, the eggs are left on their own. But there are exceptions, such as the seahorse, stickleback, tilapia, Kurtus nurseryfish, pipefish, bullhead catfish and some others. Not only are the eggs cared for by a parent but – surprise – that parent is the father. This may sound strange but it is the truth.

This one is just a little too longer for a Storytime session but absolutely perfect for an at-home reading session. I really do love this book, it touches on the wonderful reproductive habits of a number of different sea animals but it also shows camouflage in a way that kids understand immediately though the use of transparent pages throughout the book. When we meet this hidden creature it’s hard to see (camouflaged) but then when we flip this page over and Mr Seahorse is seen through it the fact he’s not camouflaged is obvious. Through the different dads we see Carle shows all of the different ways these dads help their babies come into the world. There is one thing in this whole book that stops it being 11/10 (Turn it up to 11!) is that one of the dads refers to looking after his kids as babysitting instead of parenting but other than that I adore this book.

The Mixed-Up Chameleon

Everyone knows that chameleons can change colour but in this story a chameleon finds it can change shape too. It changes its shape to look like the other animals and ends up looking like all of them at the same time with hilarious results. A cut-page story/game about a chameleon who suddenly finds life exciting when it discovers that it can change, not only its colour, but its size and shape too.

A lovely book full of imagination that kids love with a great message about loving yourself just as you are and not being jealous of others.

Star Art in Eric Carle’s Style

What You Need

  • Black paper/card
  • Paint crayons (these are a great, no mess, way of painting on a range of materials)

From the book ‘Draw Me A Star’ this is Eric Carle’s explanation on how to draw this type of star.

Following the directions draw the star (lead pencil will show up on black paper).

Using paint crayons, I traced the star.

Add some additional stars.

Colour in the different parts of the star. You can add other decorations.