My Apron

My Apron

by Eric Carle
     
 

When an eight-year-old boy helps his uncle at his job as a plasterer, he takes a fancy to his workman's apron with a pocket. As a result of his fascination, his aunt makes him an apron of his own and he spends a few days as his Uncle Adam's assistant. The text is brief and simple but clearly conveys the warmth between the man and his nephew and the child's

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Overview

When an eight-year-old boy helps his uncle at his job as a plasterer, he takes a fancy to his workman's apron with a pocket. As a result of his fascination, his aunt makes him an apron of his own and he spends a few days as his Uncle Adam's assistant. The text is brief and simple but clearly conveys the warmth between the man and his nephew and the child's satisfaction in a job well done. The line/tissue paper illustrations are colorful and somewhat geometric, reminiscent of French Cubist Leger's work featuring laborers. An added bonus is the child-size apron that comes with the book, but the story will be enjoyed with or without the tangible item.
- SLJ

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Carle adopts a slightly different artistic technique for his latest work, superimposing strong line drawings over his trademark colored-tissue-paper collage. Inspired in part by French Cubist Fernand Lger's paintings of laborers (as a note printed on the endpapers tells us), the illustrations are vigorous and fresh, a visual paean to honest hard work. The story is a recollection of a vacation the eight-year-old Carle spent with relatives, tagging along with his uncle, a plasterer, and wearing the white work apron his aunt made especially for him. The sturdy, simple prose is as linear as the drawings, reinforcing the visual imagery, and it effectively captures the tender uncle-nephew bond and the pride a child feels in participating in important adult tasks. For aspiring young helpers, a single-pocket white apron is included with the book. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-When an eight-year-old boy helps his uncle at his job as a plasterer, he takes a fancy to his workman's apron with a pocket. As a result of his fascination, his aunt makes him an apron of his own and he spends a few days as his Uncle Adam's assistant. The text is brief and simple but clearly conveys the warmth between the man and his nephew and the child's satisfaction in a job well done. The line/tissue paper illustrations are colorful and somewhat geometric, reminiscent of French Cubist Leger's work featuring laborers. An added bonus is the child-size apron that comes with the book, but the story will be enjoyed with or without the tangible item.-Christine A. Moesch, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, NY
Mary Harris Veeder
As the subtitle indicates, this book is different from much of Carle's other work: it doesn't deal with the natural world. Carle's collage technique will be familiar, but the story concerns a little boy who helps his uncle Adam, a plasterer. Uncle Adam wears an apron for his work, and Aunt Elizabeth sews a smaller version for little Eric (one is included in a plastic case attached to back of the book). The narrative is brief and straightforward, with the text set in bold black letters that pick up the black lines Carle uses to outline shapes in his pictures. Children will easily identify with Adam's pleasure at being allowed to help out in the adult world, and the story concentrates on the garment as a useful piece of clothing rather than as a gender marker.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399226854
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
07/28/1995
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,365,340
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.60(h) x 0.30(d)
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."

Eric Carle has two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. With his wife Barbara, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Carles spend their summers in the nearby Berkshire hills.

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

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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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