Flora and Tiger: 19 Very Short Stories from My Life

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 ...

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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.

The author recalls experiences from his childhood in Germany and his later life in the United States, all in some way connected with various animals.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399232039
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 649,076
  • Age range: 6 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Carle
Eric Carle
Children learn about the natural world in Eric Carle's original, charming books, which include classics such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. Carle's vivid tissue-paper illustrations and innovations in book design have made him an author whose longevity and continued popularity are testaments to his beloved status among young readers and parents.

Biography

Ever since he began innovating the look and function of children's stories in the late 1960s, Eric Carle has remained an author whose stories reliably hit the bestseller lists and remain on kids' bookshelves through generations.

He began as a designer of promotions and ads, and one illustration of a red lobster helped jump-start his career. The lobster caught the eye of author Bill Martin, Jr.; Martin asked Carle to illustrate the now-classic 1967 title Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and a career was born.

Born in Syracuse, New York but brought by his immigrant parents back to Germany when he was six, Carle was educated in Stuttgart and designed posters for the United States Information Center there after graduating from art school. He finally returned to the country he missed so much as a child in 1952.

He eventually began procuring work on children's titles, and found himself becoming increasingly involved in them. "I felt something of my own past stirring in me," he wrote in a 2000 essay. "An unresolved part of my own education needed reworking, and I began to make books -- books for myself, books for the child in me, books I had yearned for. I became my own teacher -- but this time an understanding one."

He began his career with the 1968 title 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo; but his next title, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is what still endears him to young readers today. Employing his bright, collage style and lending an immediacy to the tale by manifesting the caterpillar's hunger in actual holes in the pages, Carle began what would be a long career of creative approaches to simple stories. From the chirp emerging from The Very Quiet Cricket to the delightful fold-out pages in Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, Carle's books provide surprises that make his stories come alive in ways that many titles for preschoolers do not.

Carle's style, with its diaphanous, busy and bold artwork, is perfect for engaging new readers. His stories are also popular with parents and educators for their introductions to the natural world and its cycles. It's a particular pleasure to follow Carle into different corners of the world and see what can be learned from the creatures who live in them.

Good To Know

Regularly asked where he gets his ideas, Carle is quoted on his publisher's web site as responding: "Of course, the question of where ideas come from is the most difficult of all. Some people like to say they get ideas when they're in the shower. That's always a very entertaining answer, but I think it's much deeper than that. It goes back to your upbringing, your education, and so forth." He does say, however, that the idea for The Very Hungry Caterpillar came when he whimsically began punching holes in some paper, which suggested to him a bookworm at work. His editor later suggested he change the bookworm to a caterpillar, and the rest is history.

Carle was unhappy to be in Germany when his immigrant parents brought him back there as a child. He hated his new school and wanted to go back to America. He said: "When it became apparent that we would not return, I decided that I would become a bridge builder. I would build a bridge from Germany to America and take my beloved German grandmother by the hand across the wide ocean."

Before he became a freelance illustrator and began working on children's books, Carle worked as a graphic designer for the New York Times and as art director of an ad agency.

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    1. Hometown:
      Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 25, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      Syracuse, New York
    1. Education:
      Akademie der bildenden K√ľnste, Stuttgart, 1946-50
    2. Website:

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