Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Love Eric Carle!

I LOVE Eric Carle's stories - his messages, style and illustrations are so comforting for children - and so interesting! There are lessons in every story, whether it is about colors, numbers, time, feelings ... all wrapped in beautiful language and outstanding collage pictures.

You are probably already familiar with some of Eric Carle's stories - "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", "The Mixed-Up Chameleon", "The Grounchy Ladybug", etc.  There is a link to his website at the bottom of my page for a complete list!

Doing an "author study" on Eric Carle with younger children is easy, fun and exciting - after reviewing his books and style, I am always amazed at how much they remember. See my blog entry "Get Into Books" for ideas of how to start your author study and make sure to spend time examining the illustrations!

After you have read and reread the books, examined the pictures and found some favorites, get ready to create! Eric Carle's style of illustration is fun for kids is try themselves ... and here's how:

First, prepare some paper ... using paint, crayons, construction paper, tissue paper ... whatever you have on hand! You will need to make your paper in different colors and patterns. Try blue paper with horizontal yellow lines and green paper with brown swirls on it - make all different colored backgrounds paired with many different patterns or designs! Eric Carle uses tissue paper and paint (there are directions on his site) but I have found that, when working with younger children, thicker paper holds up better for this. If you have a few children working on this, tear completed sheets in quarters and swap for lots of variety!

When your paper is all patterned, you can plan your shapes. Think about what you want to make and then decide what shapes you might need to make that object. For example, an animal - a horse! You will need a body, a neck, head and legs, as well as any decorative parts. This is a great opportunity to go over shapes and even to use stencils or tracing materials to practice with. Freehand, of course, is a great option, too! You can either cut or tear your paper into the shapes you need and then assemble them on paper.

I made a teddy bear using many different circles and a house with some squares and triangles ... what will you make?

So .... this is how Eric Carle makes his illustrations - and now you can too!

The most important thing is to use your creativity - everyone has some! And have fun!


  1. Author study? Great idea. I think I'll put that on the top of my to do list!

  2. We just made our own Eric Carle Style illustrations to celebrate his birthday today. The illustrations were put together in a book we called Have You Seen My "HAT"?

  3. Lovely idea! We've done a mini author study at pre school this week. Works well! Thank you for your post.

  4. Lovely ideas & inspiration! We are doing an author study in honor of Eric Carle's birthday. Fun, Fun, Fun!

    Would love for you to link up your ideas to my linky party -

    We also have a kids craft linky party every Sunday - The Sunday Showcase. Hope you can come share some fab ideas with other crafty moms & teachers! Link is here -