Ernst loves the carousel near his house, and his favorite animal is the dog. When the dog’s wooden tail comes loose just before winter, Ernst is given the important job of keeping it safe until springtime.
But the tail looks sad sitting on Ernst’s shelf without its dog, and Ernst can’t help but try to cheer it up. It isn’t long before he has transformed the lonely tail into something wonderful!
As spring approaches, Ernst wonders if he will have to give up his special creation. And if he doesn’t, what will the poor dog have to wag? The imaginative crocodile from Ernst and The Puddle Pail shines once again in a story that children will treasure.
About the Author
ELISA KLEVEN writes and illustrates picture books because she's never outgrown a deep childhood urge to enter a magical world. Elisa and her family live in Albany, California. To date, she has written and illustrated thirteen books and illustrated fifteen others.
Read an Excerpt
Ernst, a young blue crocodile, loved the carousel in the park. Every day he would say hello to the wooden animals. His favorite was the honey-colored dog.
“You always ride the dog,” said Ernst’s big brother Sol one day. “Why do you like him so much?”
“His coat is sunny,” said Ernst, “and his eyes are bright. And his tail really wags.”
“It’s not wagging,” said Sol. “It’s just loose. The carousel keeper should tighten it.”
“I like the way it wags,” said Ernst. He gave the dog a hug, and the dog gave Ernst a ride, just like he always did.
Around and around they flew!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ernst, a little blue crocodile, loves to ride the carousel in the park. While his favorite wooden animal is the honey-colored dog with the moveable tail that wags, his more pragmatic big brother, Sol, pronounces that the tail is simply loose and should be fixed. When a disappointed Ernst starts kicking a scrap of wood after the carousel has closed for the season, he realizes that the scrap is actually the dog¿s tail.With the permission of the carousel keeper, a kind elephant, Ernst decides to care for the tail until spring. He paints a cheery face and glues colorful wings on it, transforming the wood into a fanciful bird. Despite Sol¿s admonishments, Ernst revels in making the bird its own carousel and playing with it in the falling snow. Recognizing the boy¿s artistry, the carousel keeper lets Ernst keep his handiwork once spring arrives, and together they find an apt replacement for the dog¿s tail.Author and illustrator Kleven designs a feast for the eyes with detailed collages, rendered with patterned papers, watercolors, ink, pastels, and colored pencils. Whimsical, brightly colored images swirl across the pages. Readers will linger over the illustrations to savor the details and find such hidden treasures as a reference to Hans Christian Andersen. Following Ernst and The Puddle Pail, this is the third book starring the adorable blue crocodile. Kleven has produced numerous other books with magical creatures and charming events, such as The Apple Doll, The Paper Princess, and Sun Bread. She has also illustrated multicultural, regional, and inspirational titles, including Abuela, City of Angels: In and Around Los Angeles, and Angels Watching Over Me. Kleven once again allows Ernst to connect to his inner world and build his creativity and independence. In the elephant carousel keeper, he even finds an adult who appreciates and nurtures his artistic spirit. Their delightful story and friendship will encourage children to develop their own imaginative passions and remind adults to let these inventions soar. by Angela Leeper