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.
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.
More than 35 years ago, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? introduced two men who are now giants in the children's book field, Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. Two years ago they collaborated on Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, and now they join forces a third time to zero in on endangered species Martin's rhyming couplets dance to a now-familiar brisk beat, parading past a lineup that includes a water buffalo, spider monkey, macaroni penguin and whooping crane, among others. As before, each animal's response to the question "What do you see?" prompts a turn of the page and a new creature to view ("Sea Lion, Sea Lion, what do you see?/ I see a red wolf sneaking by me"). In the end, a "dreaming child" sees the entire cast of critters, "all wild and free." The bouncy repetition and streamlined presentation is keenly attuned to a preschool audience, who will also find much to pore over in the artwork. 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 (such as the cool, lush blues of sea and sky) and he creates a sense of forward motion through his positioning of the animals (they all face toward the right-hand page). Another standout from the creators of a line of perennial favorites. Ages 2-5. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Carle's books all have an educational element - they teach about animals, numbers, colours and nature - but a big part of their appeal is that they are not didactic or laboured, but light and entertaining. There's warmth and humour there too Junior Eric Carle ... has an unfailing magic. His gentle, glowing collages are satisfying for parent and child The Times
PreS-Gr 1-While some adults may sigh at the similarity of this title to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1983) and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (1995, both Holt), children will be thrilled. A water buffalo, a green sea turtle, a black panther, and other animals answer that familiar call, "What do you see?" Readers view all these creatures and more, a treat considering that the 10 animals featured are all endangered species and therefore rare sights. The book closes wistfully with a dreaming child who sees the animals all "wild and free." Names like "macaroni penguin" contribute to some awkwardness in the text's rhythm, but the bright collage images and lilting language bring the animals to life on the page-soaring, swinging, or even strutting. Opening with a helpful note on the importance of animal protection, this title will make a perfect segue into conversations about endangered species.-Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.