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The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
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The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,390 ratings  ·  192 reviews
A brilliant new Eric Carle picture book for the artist in us all

Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There's a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there's imagination. Fil
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Philomel Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,520)
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Gundula
Feb 01, 2015 Gundula rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children interested in art and artists
I have to say that I am a little disappointed with and by this book. I have always loved Eric Carle's artwork, and the illustrations are lovely, evocative, exuberant, pure Eric Carle magic. But I don't really find the narrative all that interesting and engaging (and I also do not see exactly how the text is or can be regarded as an homage to Franz Marc, the illustrations, definitely, but the text, not so much). If Eric Carle had wanted to have both the text and the illustrations appear as an hom ...more
Kathryn
2 STARS for the story (mostly for the illustrations, actually) but an additional star for the biographical information provided at the end.

I was very disappointed in this book, I'm afraid. I really could not reconcile the "story" aspect with the biographical information in this book. I thought going into it that it was a biography of Carle, then I thought maybe it was supposed to be a biography of Franz Marc (whose art inspired Carle) after I read the biographical info at the back. I realize the
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Lisa Vegan
Nov 23, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all young artists and art appreciators, especially those fascinated by how color is used in art
I wanted to love this even more than I did because I loved: the art, the author’s note at the end about Franz Marc and the inclusion of one of that artist’s blue horse paintings, and I love the message that using atypical colors can be fine art.

But, there’s no story here at all. It just shows the artist saying he’s painting this animal in that color and that animal in this color. That’s the entire book.

The simplicity of the text and the big boldly colored illustrations make it a suitable book f
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Dolly
Oct 19, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We've loved Eric Carle's books and have read some of them (like The Very Hungry Caterpillar) so many times that our own board book copies have fallen apart. So when we saw this book, I just knew we had to borrow it.

I was afraid that our girls would think it was too young and babyish for them, but they really liked it too. And I loved the information about Franz Marc, who inspired the book as well as the expanded biographical information about the author and his art teacher's boldness and braver
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Randie
First off, my son was so EXCITED when he saw the cover this book! He said: "Oh, oh, oh! I know this author! He writes the story and is the illustrator for all of the books I like!" I love that we both have had the opportunity to grow up with Eric Carle's works, let's hope he passes the books on to the next generation.

Secondly, this is a bright, fun, and creative story about an artist painting uniquely colored animals. The donkey was our favorite.

Great book for young children.
Carolynne
This is a concept book rather than either a biography ( of Franz Marc, German born painter killed in WWI)or fiction. Great for inspiring children to exercise freedom of expression, teaching colors, shapes, and other basic art concepts. The author's note also tells how reactionary the Nazi regime was, forbidding any kind of modern or abstract art.
Barbara
With simple text and his trademark painted tissue paper collage, Eric Carle celebrates the artist inside each of us while paying tribute to artist Franz Marc whose nontraditional paintings such as Blue Horse I, painted in 1911, were controversial at the time because of their use of unusual colors. In this picture book a young artist uses his imagination to paint a blue horse, a red crocodile, a yellow cow, a green lion, and even a donkey with a rainbow of polka dots across its side. Back matter ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Eric Carle draws animals in crazy and unexpected colors, all beautiful and bright and magnificent. He is right when he says, “I am a good artist.”

“I am an artist
and I paint…
a blue horse
and…
a red crocodile
and…”

I just can't think logically about an Eric Carle book. I love it. Unconditionally.
David
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle pays tribute to Blue Rider (Blaue Reiter), created by painter Franz Marc (1880-1916), emulating Marc's creations of fancifully colored animals, making this a celebration of the artistic spirit.

This story is about an artist who paints beautiful animals in bright, vibrant colors not associated with those animals: such as a polka dot donkey, a green lion, a black polar bear, or a red crocodile. The main text is in a large bold font, and simple words
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Heidi
I love the theme behind this book. The idea that just because something is usually done in one way, doesn't mean it is wrong to do it another way is an important theme. Children especially are vulnerable to the idea that there is only one way to do something. This book helps counter that idea, by suggesting that exercising our creativity is a good thing. The illustrations are typical Carle, simple in shape, yet complex in design. Of course children aren't going to see most of that. The classes I ...more
VegasGal
I thought that I would have a special affinity with this author and really appreciate this book since I so proudly colored a picture of Jesus purple when I was a young child doing crafts in vacation bible school, but alas I was completely disappointed. Sure, I understand the point of "thinking outside the box" and being creative, and yes, the pictures were colored very nicely with wild, vivid colors, but there was no accompanying story, which is a big disappointment especially since the book is ...more
Veronica
Simple storytelling coupled with vivid imagery make this newest release by acclaimed children's author Eric Carle truly remarkable. Especially interesting to me, as an adult, was his inspiration for the storybook: the works of Franz Marc, whose painting, The Blue Horse, was banned by the Nazis during WWII. The abnormal colors and composition of his art were thought to be an abomination and an insult to art itself. In this book, however, Carle presents the notion that any and all art is interesti ...more
Jenny
My four year old loves this book and has asked me to read it over and over again. She even enjoyed the author's note. Eric Carle was inspired by Franz Marc who painted animals in bright and unusual colors, particularly blue horses. She has asked me to tell her about Franz Marc over and over again and how he died during the war with a sketchbook in his pocket. I know that some felt like the story is too simple...and it is very simple... or that the author's biographical note about Franz Marc and ...more
Janet
Eric Carle has had many picture books over the years, but for me personally this is the one that just shouts joy! It is so apparent in these illustrations that Mr. Carle has a deep abiding soul of an artist. His purple fox and polka dotted donkey are stunning. When viewing these illustrations I was reminded of the riots of color found on various horses sculptures in Lexinton, Ky. several years ago. Also in Belzoni, MS there are a number of catfish lavishly displayed in brilliant colors. This boo ...more
Amy Hafner
Hooray for a new book by one of my favorite children's authors! I thought this book was so much more than just a picture book for children. I believe it's Carle's way of telling young artists that it's okay to think outside the box. Paint what you feel. Pay no attention to the rules. Express yourself.
I had no idea that Eric Carle grew up in Germany during WWII and was influenced by a teacher who introduced him to the "degenerate artists" whose work the Nazis banned. I hope my children will alwa
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Aidan
This book is about a boy who starts off by telling the readers that he is an artist. The readers have nothing to go on, so we all watch. As the pages go on, we see that the artist is painting many animals that we all know different colors. For example, the artist paints a bunny rabbit bright pink. This seems like it would be unusual but at the end of the book and at the end of the animals, the artist tells us readers that he is a good artist. The overall message of this story is very strong. It ...more
Elizabeth Murphy
This children's concept picture book is an inspiration for children. It teaches children that it is okay to be creative and express their imagination. In this beautifully illustrated children's book, there are so many bright colors that attract the reader. This type of book definitely attracts children with how unusual it is. Many children like to color with their favorite color, but adults tend to color more realistically. They make a horse black or brown or white. They color cows with black or ...more
Paul Farbman
Mar 23, 2014 Paul Farbman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Preschool - Kindergarten
A very recent addition to Eric Carle's body of work, the boy in The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse was inspired by artist Franz Marc. Marc was a German abstract artist whose work was banned during the Nazi regime, the era in which Carle attended high school in Germany.

Children from diverse backgounds will be able to connect to the artist. Rather than appearing as white, african american, or latino, he appears to represent a little of each i n his skin color. He also has long hair, probably repr
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Heather Wright
"The Artist who Painted A Blue Horse" is for children of the ages 6-15. I read this book in ebook format. The book is about Eric Carle the famous artiest who teaches children how to express their art any way the feel like it. Rather if its coloring animals different colors that they normally are not. Some of his famous drawings are in this book. I really enjoyed this book. I loves how he encouraged children to think out of the box and to encourage them when drawing. I also enjoyed some of his fa ...more
Rebecca
It's a new Eric Carle just in time for the holiday season! This is nothing new, but would work well in a storytime about colors or animals. Bright, large-scale collages with few words, and a "no wrong way to be creative" message with an added note about an artist who DID paint a controversial blue horse in 1911 -- Franz Marc.
Denice Hein
After the black and white graphic novel and before the art book, Mya may need some color infused into her. I choose Eric Carle’s autobiographically picture book to be part of the bundle to illustrate some special animals. It will bridge nicely to My Art book. Not knowing Mya I am concerned that she will scoff at a picture book as a 4th grader. So I will sell this book as a study of an artist and his art.

This is independent reading for Mya and is the primary picture book component to the bundle.
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Suz
I enjoyed the Youtube video of Eric Carle talking about his inspiration for this book. The book would be wonderful to share with children along with the video, and then talk about who inspires us.
Mary Lee
It's a deceptively simple book, but the information in the back about the artist Franz Marc and Eric Carle's early art training make it amazing.
Claudia Bell
I would have loved to give this book five stars because I love the idea behind it: make young children, especially aspiring artists, think outside the box. I also love the explanation at the end of the book that ties Eric Carle's artwork to Franz Marc's. One can definitely see that Eric Carle was inspired by the artwork of the expressionists. However, since this is a wonderful book to bring a bit of art history to the child, I would have liked to see more text with the unconventional animals cre ...more
Maggie KutsBorg
A book that flexes to whatever your needs are. It's practically wordless, since the text is so simple and so directly related to the images. I extended interactivity by naming the animal and asking the children to tell me what color it was. We talked about some science on the polar bear page (how polar bears are white to match the snow where they live), we made lots of silly animal noises, and we did lots of color observations (the best was a little girl who picked out the small spots of blue sh ...more
Kristy
We could not have found a more perfect book to read to our 5-year-old artist. He does things "his own way" in art, and that is the story of this book. It is Eric Carle's tribute to the artist Franz Marc, whose work was banned by the Nazi regime in Germany where Carle grew up. If it weren't for a teacher breaking the law and showing young Carle some of Marc's artwork, we might never have seen any of Carle's works, because, as he says in the back of the book, "My green lion, polka-dotted donkey an ...more
Robin
This book inspired this week's craft for our blue-themed storytime. It's a little confusing but very fun to see these two-page spreads of various animals portrayed in the 'wrong' colors. When I first saw this book, I thought Eric Carlewas writing about himself. But this book is about an artist named Franz Marc and there's a great author's note at the back of the book about him and about what inspired Carle to create this book.
Amber
What a beautiful book. For children, it is colorful and fun. For adults, it is about learning something new. Most everyone is familiar with Eric Carle’s illustrations even if they have not cracked open one of his picture books. With beautiful brush strokes and painted on texture, they are truly phenomenal. Like many of Carle’s books, The Artist Who Pained a Blue Horse, teaches children about different animals through art, but in this book the animals are all the wrong colors which will astonish ...more
Susan Mann
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is one of the most stunning children's books I have ever seen. The author, is Eric Carle, you may recognise him from one of his pervious books being The Hungry Catapiller. I remember this as a child, it was one of my favourites when I was very young, so it was one I introduced to my children when they were very young. When I heard about this book I had to get it. This is his first brand new picture book in four years.
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is abo
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Tasha
A young artist paints a blue horse running against a yellow sky, then continues to paint animals in amazing colors. There is a red crocodile, a yellow cow, a pink rabbit, and an orange elephant. The book speaks powerfully and simply to the spirit of creativity, the ability to change the world through art, and the right to express yourself. This becomes even more clear as the book ends with Carle’s own childhood experiences in Nazi Germany where he first saw the forbidden work of Franz Marc who p ...more
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Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a children's book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry 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 71 million copies of his books have sold around ...more
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