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The clouds drift across the bright blue sky-all except one. Little Cloud trails behind. He is busy changing shapes to become a fluffy sheep, a zooming airplane, and even a clown with a funny hat. Eric Carle's trademark collages will make every reader want to run outside and discover their very own little cloud.
As minimalist as the text, these images may well inspire kids to cast more creative glances at the sky. (Publishers Weekly)
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Product dimensions:||9.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.20(d)|
|Age Range:||2 - 5 Years|
About 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.
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
What People are Saying About This
"Carle's luminous collage art features broad, swirling strokes reminiscent of finger painting. As minimalist as the text, these images may well inspire kids to cast more creative glances at the sky." Publishers Weekly
"Simplicity itself....A perfect story-hour choice [that] segues nicely into a trip outside to look at the sky." Booklist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, you child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute. To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Little Cloud was one of her picks. Little Cloud decides to travel to see what is on the other side of the mountain. Little Cloud's friends are concerned for his safety. He may get lost. Little Cloud floats away anyway. He runs into the eye of Mean Mountain who tells him to go away. Little Cloud floated past him because Little Cloud was not afraid. On the other side he found a valley where everything was drying up. A tree asked for some rain, but Little Cloud was too small to help. Little Cloud learned that Mean Mountain kept all of the clouds away. Little Cloud decided to help. He grabbed a ride on a airplane's tail until he got over the ocean. There he found lots of clouds, and told them about the valley and Mean Mountain. They filled up with water and went to Mean Mountain who tossed rocks at them. Little Cloud let out a bolt of lightning that knocked off Mean Mountain's nose, and the clouds went on to rain on the valley. Little Cloud stayed there from then on and lived happily, becoming a bigger cloud. The book encourages a sense of healthy adventure in a child. One should not be concerned about vague fears, but go to find out for yourself. The book also suggests that others may need your help. As a child, you may not be able to do much alone, but by talking with others you may be able to gather additional allies who can make a difference. Mean Mountain is the archetypal bully, all bluff and bluster with little substance. You can talk about how to handle bullies in the context of this story with your child. Finally, the book also develops the theme of satisfactions from helping others. This can help a child begin to thing about her or his purpose in life. Please use this book to discuss issues that you think your child may be concerned about, such as separation from you and your family. You'll be glad you addressed these fears before they grow to be too large for your child.
Eric Carle never disappoints us! He has the most beautifully simple illustrations and stories. They are easily understood by children and deeply pondered by adults. In my opinion, he is magical, multi-talented, and ingenious in his approach to writing and illustrating children's books. This one is very sweet!
The story was not as engaging as I thought it would be, however, there is a little science lesson for young children. I feel that taking the story outside to study real clouds helps spark the imagination about what little children SEE when they look at clouds.