September’s Author of the Month
Author of the Month: Eric Carle
For the month of September we will highlight the works of Eric Carle.
About Eric Carle
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 50 languages and sold over 33 million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 110 million copies of his books have sold around the world.
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.
Our Reading List
Very Hungry Caterpillar, 1969
This all-time favorite not only follows the very hungry caterpillar as it grows from egg to cocoon to beautiful butterfly, but also teaches the days of the week, counting, good nutrition and more. Striking pictures and cleverly die-cut pages offer interactive fun.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? written by Bill Martin Jr, 1967
Appealing animals in bold colors are seen and named in a rhyming question-and-response text that delights as it invites young readers and listeners to participate actively.
Do You Want to Be My Friend?, 1971
In few words but expressive pictures, a little mouse looks for a friend – and happily finds one just in time to save himself from a predator who has been hiding there all the time – unseen, but in plain sight! A simple story on the universal theme of friendship.
The Grouchy Ladybug, 1977
A grouchy ladybug who is looking for a fight challenges everyone it meets regardless of their size or strength. How this bumptious bug gets its comeuppance and learns the pleasures to be gained by cheerfulness and good manners is an amusing lesson in social behavior. Die-cut pages add drama and dimension.
The Very Busy Spider, 1984
With the use of raised printing, this innovative book adds the sense of touch to vision and hearing as ways to understand and enjoy the strikingly designed illustrations and the memorable story. Various farm animals try to divert a busy little spider from spinning her web, but she persists and produces a thing of both beauty and usefulness.
A House for Hermit Crab, 1987
An underwater fantasy based on the true habits of hermit crabs and the flora and fauna of their marine environment, this book offers young readers an interesting first introduction to marine biology as well as an appealing story of Hermit Crab’s search for a house he can really call his home, as he grows throughout one year’s cycle.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
written by Bill Martin Jr, 1991
Easy, repetitive question-and-response text draws children into joyful interaction as they imitate the sounds of a variety of zoo animals for the zookeeper. Big, bold animal illustrations and lots of noisy fun.
The Very Lonely Firefly, 1995
Young readers empathize with the lonely firefly who makes many errors as he looks for the group where he will really “belong.” In his search for compatible companions, he meets many other night creatures, but none is quite right—until the happy surprise at the very end when the illustration of a swarm of friendly fireflies literally shines and twinkles a welcome in the night. Heartwarming.
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
written by Bill Martin Jr, 2003
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? is told from the point of view of endangered creatures, and one dreaming child; each page a tribute to wild animals and their freedom.
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?, 2007
Join Baby Bear as he sets out to look for his beloved Mama Bear, meeting a diverse cast of North American animals along the way. Readers of all ages will enjoy the rich, colorful illustrations and heartfelt story of this last collaboration in a series that has helped millions learn to read.
The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse, 2011
Check out Eric Carle’s newest book.
September's Artistic Corner
Eric Carle is a prime example of an artist who has used collage in his picture books; he was also inspired by nature. One of our artistic activities this month will be centered around the collage.
Here are the materials we will use for this project in the Art Studio at St John’s:
Construction paper, assorted colors
Rubbing plates or textured surfaces for rubbings
Crayons for rubbings
VISUAL TEXTURE is a texture you can see rather than feel. Eric Carle uses VISUAL TEXTURE in his artwork. We will use rubbing plates to experiment with different textures on construction paper.
ORGANIC shapes are freeform, irregular, or asymmetrical. An oak leaf is an example of an ORGANIC shape. We will embrace Carle’s tribute to nature and create ORGANIC shapes from a piece of construction paper.
GEOMETRIC shapes are made up of a set of mathematical points. We will explore the geometric shapes like: Squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles during this activity.
This bird is based on one of Eric Carle’s birds from The Mountain That Loved a Bird.
We will use the ORGANIC and GEOMETRIC shapes we cut out to create textured visual art like those seen in Eric Carle’s illustrations.
The children will describe the colors, shapes and visuals they see as they use hand and eye coordination to create their very own Eric Carle inspired masterpiece!
September's Inspired Snack
With the last of summer fruits, our featured snack will be The Very Hungry Caterpillar Fruit Salad!
mint leaves to garnish
Peel, pare, seed, hull and section each fruit.
Cut into bite-sized pieces.
Then put them all together in a big bowl and chill.
Garnish each serving with a sprig of mint.
September's Science Lab
This September, the students will be raising Monarch Butterflies and examining their life cycle .
Monarch butterflies are the most beautiful of all butterflies, some say, and are considered the “king” of the butterflies, hence the name “monarch”. There are lots of very interesting things to learn about the monarch butterfly and preschoolers find them fascinating.
In our hands-on science lab, we will watch Monarch caterpillars become a chrysalis and emerge as transformed butterflies!
Check out some fast facts from Nat Geo kids to stay up to speed on what your little entomologist is learning.
Facts about Monarch Butterflies:
Monarchs are large, beautifully colored butterflies that are easy to recognize by their striking orange, black, and white markings. They live in North, Central, and South America as well as Australia, some Pacific Islands, India, and Western Europe.
The wingspan of a full-grown monarch can reach nearly five inches (13 centimeters), although the average is closer to four inches (10 centimeters). Their markings include bright orange wings covered with black veins and rimmed with a black border and white dots. Females have thicker veins in their wings.
A monarch’s brilliant coloring tells predators: “Don’t eat me. I’m poisonous.” The butterflies get their toxins from a plant called milkweed, which is their only food source in the caterpillar stage. An animal that eats a monarch butterfly usually doesn’t die, but it feels sick enough to avoid monarchs in the future.
The most amazing thing about monarch butterflies is the enormous migration that North American monarchs undertake each year. Every fall, as cold weather approaches, millions of these delicate insects leave their home range in Canada and the United States and begin flying south.
They continue until they reach Southern California or central Mexico, more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away! These international travelers return to the same forests each year, and some even find the same tree that their ancestors landed on.