What's Your Favorite Animal?

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Overview

Everybody has a favorite animal. Some like little white dogs or big black cats or hoppy brown bunnies best. Others prefer squishy snails or tall giraffes or sleek black panthers. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, 14 children's book artists share their favorite animals and why they love them.

 

  • Eric Carle
  • Nick Bruel
  • Lucy Cousins
  • Susan Jeffers
  • Steven Kellogg
  • Jon Klassen
  • Tom Lichtenheld
  • Peter McCarty
  • Chris Raschka
  • Peter Sís
  • Lane Smith
  • Erin Stead
  • Rosemary Wells
  • Mo Willems

 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

To answer that title question, the inimitable Eric Carle enlisted the help over a dozen of his artist friends. What they came up is as diverse as their talents. The roster of all-star contributors includes Mo Willems, Rosemary Wells, Jon Klassen, Chris Raschka, Susan Jeffers, Peter Sis, and Erin Stead. A fantasy zoo you won't forget. Editor's recommendation.

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/21/2013
Answers to this classic kid question arrive courtesy of 14 top illustrators including Lucy Cousins, Jon Klassen, Chris Raschka, and Lane Smith; the contributions range from meticulously rendered artwork to quick, funny sketches, along with commentaries that can be elegiac, nostalgic, silly, and even meta. Carle creates one of his signature collages to evoke Fiffi, a black cat who shared his apartment in Greenwich Village. Mo Willems asserts that his favorite animal is “an Amazonian Neotropical Lower River Tink-Tink” (drawn as a bump inside a big, hungry snake), while Rosemary Wells muses on the five positions favored by the white terrier who shares her bed. Nick Bruel breaks down the fourth wall—and probably a fifth and sixth wall, as well—as he argues with his narcissistic antihero Bad Kitty over his animal choice (“Okay then Kitty. What’s YOUR favorite animal? MEATLOAF?”) and then tries to flatter Carle into giving him an octopus. A varied and engaging omnibus that offers real insight into the lives and personalities of these artists. Royalties benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Showcasing 14 contemporary (mainly American) picture-book illustrators, this handsome volume asks the title question and devotes a double-page spread to each artist’s answer." – Booklist

"This menagerie offers picture-book lovers of all ages a glimpse into each creator’s style, personality and brand of humor." – Kirkus Reviews

"A varied and engaging omnibus that offers real insight into the lives and personalities of these artists."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

“Gorgeously illustrated, brilliantly innovative. . .”

The New York Times Book Review

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?:

“Carle's signature jewel-toned tissue paper and acrylic collages are simple enough for youngest onlookers to appreciate, yet filled with subtleties to delight adult eyes. . .”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?:

“The contemporary classic, beloved of preschoolers and beginning readers alike.”

The Horn Book Guide

School Library Journal
★ 02/01/2014
PreS-Gr 2—Carle and a number of noteworthy picture-book artists (Nick Bruel, Lucy Cousins, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellogg, Jon Klassen, Tom Lichtenheld, Peter McCarty, Chris Raschka, Peter Sís, Lane Smith, Erin Stead, Rosemary Wells, and Mo Willems) write about their favorite animals. The text takes the form of poems, stories, and narrative descriptions, and each entry is illustrated in a variety of styles, materials, and techniques. The back matter contains a biographical sketch of each contributor and information about the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (the benefactor of the sales of this book) in Amherst, Massachusetts. This successful collaboration of old favorites and newer names in illustration is sure to keep youngsters engaged and may inspire them to write about and draw their favorite animals or to take a closer look at other works by Carle and his friends.—Lindsay Persohn, University of South Florida, Tampa
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-13
Cause-related anthologies are challenging to do well, but this one (benefiting the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art) succeeds admirably--on multiple levels. The investment of 13 popular illustrators allows Carle to present a portable gallery of animals and a marvelous array of approaches, media and layouts that even the youngest viewers can access. The only thing missing is ethnic diversity among the artists. Accompanying the assemblage are brief poems, captions or anecdotes conveying why these are favored choices. Peter Sís relays the Czech ritual of watching the Christmas Eve carp swimming in the bathtub and the tearful parade of neighborhood children releasing their dinners into the river; his flying fish transports three feline kings bearing gifts. Chris Raschka's hand-lettered, existential musings are paired with his portrait of a lowly snail building a dazzling shell. Older children with a book background will have fun recognizing the work of familiar illustrators: Lane Smith's textured, green pachyderm; Lucy Cousins' heavily spotted leopard rendered in searing yellow; Erin Stead's understated penguins. They will also enjoy Bad Kitty's antics as he jealously breaks into Nick Bruel's octopus story and the duo's "shameless flattery" of the volume's compiler. The book opens with Carle's collaged string-bean–loving cat and concludes with photographs of his museum. This menagerie offers picture-book lovers of all ages a glimpse into each creator's style, personality and brand of humor. (biographies, photographs, websites) (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805096415
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 1/21/2014
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 152,363
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Carle

Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? written by Bill Martin Jr. He is also the creator of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, to which all of the royalties from this book go. His collaborators are some of the best known and beloved picture book illustrators of today and to whom special thanks is due.

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 Künste, Stuttgart, 1946-50
    2. Website:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    This is awosome

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