Each week we review books we’ve read with Squirm. However, this week is a little special, and is actually inspired by a book I read while Squirm was sleeping.
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
I was sitting in the library, looking at the books and desperately hoping not to wake Squirm up, when I picked this one up. I love Eric Carle and I hadn’t seen this one before, so it looked like a pretty good read. Immediately I was transported into a world that was a little bit familiar and a lot bit fantastic. But the most fascinating part came at the end of the book, when I read the author’s note. It mentioned that Eric Carle had been introduced to abstract art, such as the art celebrated in the book, by a teacher – at a time and place when unrealistic art was highly disapproved of.
This made me look further into Carle’s background. He was born in 1929 in the United States, but moved to Germany, his parent’s homeland, when he was 6 years old. Therefore his schooling occured in Nazi Germany, and when he got older, Carle was required to work for the war effort. It made me wonder about the beauty of Carle’s work and what inspired it.
This is a gorgeous book that inspired me – an adult. I wonder what it could do for children
(I highly recommend the video. I love watching Eric Carle working!)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
You can’t talk about Eric Carle without talking about The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This was one of the books Mr Pilot brought in to read to Squirm when we were still in the hospital, and even at just a few days old, Squirm would stare at the beautiful illustrations. It’s a favourite around here – I crocheted a Hungry Caterpillar motif on one of Squirm’s jumpsuits, and a friend gave him two Hungry Caterpillar onesies.
There’s so much you can do with this book and teachers have been using it for years. Yu can look at food, days of the week and the life cycle of the butterfly – all in one little book. There’s looking at how the illustrations were made, and making your own art and books with cut outs. You could look at the gorgeous use of colour as well.
The Tiny Seed
This book follows the fortunes of a group of seeds, including the tiny seed, as they fly through the air to their new home. Along the way, seeds are eaten and lost, but still the tiny seed carries on. It shows us that even something small can be beautiful.
Again, lots to do here. There’s art idea – like making your own flowers and seeds. There’s nature walks where you could collect seeds or hunt for different flowers – you could even make your own guide and classification if you got particularly inspired. You could learn about how seeds grow and you could try to grow your own. A trip to the nursery would probably fit quite well in here too.
Read more about Eric Carle