Flora and Tiger: 19 Very Short Stories from My Life

Flora and Tiger: 19 Very Short Stories from My Life

by Eric Carle, Ayliffe
     
 

My father loved animals, it is from him that I inherited that love for all kinds of creatures. My father liked to draw, it is from him that I inherited the joy of picture making. My father was a story teller, it is from him that I learned to tell a story.

Eric Carle known for his outstanding picture books, among them The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has

Overview

My father loved animals, it is from him that I inherited that love for all kinds of creatures. My father liked to draw, it is from him that I inherited the joy of picture making. My father was a story teller, it is from him that I learned to tell a story.

Eric Carle known for his outstanding picture books, among them The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has now turned his talent to writing these short stories. Flora and Tiger is an exuberant and touching collection of personal vignettes dedicated to his gentle father, from his earliest years in America, through his boyhood in the shadow of war in Germany, to the present as an adult living and working in the United States.

Eric Carle writes of his Oma (German grandmother) and the hen who might have been a rooster, his cousin Fritz and the turtle who loved a cat, his friend Sol and his kidnapped black cat, and his Uncle Adam and his tamed ravens, and many others.

"These stories have three things in common," Eric Carle writes, "animals and insects, my family and friends. and me." Writing with wit and charm, full of love for the people around him, in these stories, Eric Carle welcomes readers, young and old, into his world.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
Nineteen small vignettes from Carle's life occuring both in Germany and in the U.S. trace his early interest in bugs, animals, and his family, all of which have appeared as subjects in his many books for early elementary readers. The stories include accurate animal information which Carle reveals as his child-self listens to his father's explanations while watching black ants enslave red, for instance, or an injured swift finally fly away. Older readers may be interested in these leisurely told snapshots of Carle's boyhood, but those looking for information about the origins of his many picture books, how he learned to write, and where his talents took him will need to read the more sharply focused autobiography, The Art of Eric Carle (Simon & Schuster, 1993).
School Library Journal
Gr 4 UpCarle shares a bit of himself in this collection of vignettes. In his words, "The stories...from various places and times...have three things in common: animals or insects, friends or relatives, and me." Nineteen short stories, each no more than three pages and sparsely illustrated by the author, allow readers glimpses into the artist's life. They meet his grandparents who argued about a hen that might have been a rooster. Carle reminisces about exploring the countryside with his father or making the horrible and painful discovery that a wasp is trapped in his trousers. These stories are gentle wanderings through his life rather than a biography in linear form. Some take place in Germany and some in the United States; they range in time from childhood during World War II to the present. The sketches are sometimes moving, sometimes funny, and sometimes uplifting. Flora and Tiger is an intimate portrait that provides a picture of this popular illustrator. A super addition to any study of Carle or his work.Jane Claes, T. J. Lee Elementary School, Irving, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399232039
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
864,812
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.47(d)
Lexile:
1050L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires
Date of Birth:
June 25, 1929
Place of Birth:
Syracuse, New York
Education:
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, 1946-50
Website:
http://www.eric-carle.com/

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