Dianne's Reviews > From Head to Toe

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
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Jan 16, 2011

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bookshelves: children
Read in December, 2010

Anyone who reads a lot of Eric Carle's books cannot fail to notice that there is a hierarchy of things that turn Carle on:

1. Animals. Carle obviously adores animals.
2. Fabrics. Carle loves texture and pattern.
3. Human hair. His hair is somewhat less pleasing than his fabrics

And then somewhere, way, way down at the bottom of the hierarchy comes "Human face and figure." It is always jarring to me to compare his beautifully articulated animals that practically roar and pop off the page with his blocky, oddly proportioned human bodies and his primitive human faces.

But it is especially jarring in From Head to Toe, in which every page pairs an animal with a human figure. Carle's kicking donkey bursts with so much muscular energy that the reader almost wants to duck to avoid a hoof to the head; and the child that accompanies the donkey is all rectangles - not a muscle, or even a curve, in sight here. It's hard to integrate these illustrations visually - how can the artist who so readily evokes the arching of a cat or the stomping of an elephant be the same artist who foists upon us these blocky, unconvincing children?

Having said that, the book is fun to get down on the floor and act out with a toddler - especially fun in bad weather when you've run out of indoor activities and just need to move!
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Reading Progress

03/16/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa This was one of our favorite books when Nick was younger. I thought that the kids were intentionally undeveloped to allow readers to see themselves. (Nick loved the donkey page.) Have you and G. Read "My Apron"?


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