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The Nonsense Show

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  683 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Ducks growing out of bananas? A mouse catching a cat? What’s wrong with this book?
Yes, there’s something strange, something funny and even downright preposterous on every page of this book  But it’s not a mistake – it’s nonsense!  And it’s also surrealism. Nonsense lies at the heart of many beloved nursery rhymes.  Children readily accept odd statements like “the cow
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Philomel Books (first published October 6th 2015)
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Showing 1-30
3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  683 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
This book is just about absurd things.

A rabbit pulls a human from a hat.

A bird flies underwater while a fish lives in a birdcage.

A kangaroo has a human child in her pouch.

A two-headed snake (has no tail).

Etc. etc. A tennis player hits an apple instead of a tennis ball and ends up with applesauce on her face.

Some of it is freaky, like when the horse and the human woman decide to trade heads.

Some of it is whimsical, like when fluffy sheep come out of a steam engine instead of puffs of steam.

It's t
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I first picked up this book I thought to myself, "I think Eric Carle has finally lost it." Being a tad creeped out, I hastily cast the book aside. I didn't think of it again until a few days later when I needed some stories for a preK readaloud. Not knowing what to expect, I added this book to the pile. And let me tell you, those kids lost their tiny minds. They were so baffled, so fascinated that they continued discussing the book after we finished reading it. This book is not for grown up ...more
Sara Strand
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First and foremost, I am probably biased because I am a huge fan of Eric Carle. We have so many of his books and my children love his illustrations and we never tire of his wonderful stories. When this book showed up at my house my kids got SO excited. We read it immediately and my kids loved it. The great part is that we recognized so many things from some of his other books and as usual, the illustrations were on spot.

As an extra bonus, I decided to read it to three first grade classrooms who
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Basically an extended drug trip. Love the illustrations of course, but as for the rest, you can probably count me in among those who "just don't get it."
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
a kids book everybody can enjoy because we all need more surrealism, i, is this about drugs? could have been written by The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara & Lenin Play Chess
Paula Hollohan
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Odd - some re-hashing of older art with new things and total nonsensical text. Odd.
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Too terrifying to ever read to a child, but reading it for myself, I have to say I loved the art. I would consider buying to have as a coffee table book to start conversations.
Nov 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
The thing about surrealism (for me, at least) is that it needs to be done in small doses. Stick a Magritte in with a whole bunch of Renaissance masters and it stands out, and inspires discussion, and elicits emotion.
But when you put a whole bunch of surreal pictures right in a row, with narration that makes no sense, it becomes overwhelming. It becomes stressful.
I feel like Eric Carle was trying SO HARD to teach people about surrealism, but instead we ended up on a bad drug trip. If I were goin
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Not one of my favorite Eric Carle books. I didn't love the rhyme scheme.
Akemi G.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-fiction, kid-lit
My second favorite of Eric Carle. Don't we just love this kind of upside-down humor?
Alison Strandell
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Eric Carle's iconic watercolor artwork. The pictures of "nonsense" were fun and bright to see. Plus, the book gets kids to use their imaginations, looking at made up scenarios.
Linda Gill
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Since I just reviewed an Eric Carle book, I thought I would follow it with his latest. THE NONSENSE SHOW is totally crazy and wacky! It exudes nonsense and imaginative voice. The book jacket labels the work "nonsense and surrealism," sparking "creativity and imagination."

I looked up the definition of "surrealism" and found that it means "to feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur." Then I looked up non sequitur to make sure I understood what I was about to say
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
2016: This was a seriously weird book. My seven-year-old was not impressed by it. But I think we should all make room for a little nonsense in our lives. I'm guessing my daughter was just a little too old to be captivated by the contradictions. A four-year-old would get it.

2019: I was so right. My four-year-old picked this book out at the library and adored it. I still don't love it but it is just right for four-year-olds.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not a favorite. With the exception of a couple of pages that reminded me of good silly poems, most of this seemed like illustrations where the words were added as an afterthought to fit the silly story.

I think kids will like this though, because it will make them laugh. I just wish the writing were as good as the illustrations.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, children
This is a sad day, when I am left with a one star for the incredible & wondrous Eric Carle. I'd like to say the illustrations are worthwhile, but once I came to a spread featuring a horse with a girl's head, there was no hope. I understand what Carle is doing, with his jabs of nonsense, but this is a miss & clearly only published because he is who he is. Not recommended.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
At first I was going to dock this for uneven rhyme meter, but then I realized IT'S A NONSENSE BOOK, so it's okay. Eric Carle gets out his crazy for this one and I love it.
May 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
NOTE: These reviews are based on the reactions of myself and my now 14 month old daughter

The baby liked the weird pictures, and would honestly probably give it two stars. She especially liked the half of a body chasing the other half. Maybe even three stars.

But as her mother I can't give more than one star to this nightmare fever dream of a book. It's supposed to come off as 'whimsical' and 'fun' but is really freaking horrifying. The giant mouse chasing a cat, a rabbit pulling a man out of a ha
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because there's lots of silly things, and if you see this rabbit you'd think it was in the hat, but the rabbit's doing the magic trick and the person's in the hat. And as you see in the cover, instead of an egg, there's a banana peel, and inside of the banana peel, there's a duck. Ducks usually go in eggs, and not in banana peels and that's why it's called The Nonsense Show. And like most ducks they have webs feet, instead of regular feet without webs like we do, like people do.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
I kind of thought this book was nonsense, sorry! I asked the kids what they noticed about the illustrations, and they were able to tell me it looked like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. From there, all similarities ended. This was almost grotesque at times... too avant garde for the targeted demographic in my opinion.
Sean Harding
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eric Carle is particularly famous for one picture book, the Very Hungry Caterpillar - but he is the author of numerous other books and this his one of them - and it is stuff and nonsense as the title suggests and a lot of fun. It is good too read something else by him, to see beyond the caterpillar and this is a good read which young readers would enjoy.
I've read this to several grades. PreK weren't into it. I have found that they can be very literal, so books like this annoy them. Kindergarten enjoyed it, but spent way too much time explaining the jokes to themselves. First grade LOVED IT. They went absolutely nuts for it!
Better than most of the Eric Carle books. (Which isn't saying much.)
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
First of all, I love Eric Carle’s books. My 18 month old grand loved the vivid drawings and the topsy turvey world Eric created. It was amusing and was read many times over.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
fun. fun. fun!
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This one got some giggles.
Carolyn Jeziorski
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love Carle’s work, but this title just didn’t do it for me. The kids thought some of the illustrations were funny, but I found the narrative clunky. The book just didn’t flow.
Zara Pemberton
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sophia-has-read
Literally a book of non sense so true to the title.
Ashlin Edmisten
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zz2017, childrens
This is a very fun, cute, silly book... but of course, it's called "The Nonsense Show."
Maxwell Rae
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
The more Eric Carle books I read, the more I believe that The Hungry Caterpillar is famous due to the unique way the book is laid out, not due to its illustrations or writing.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was about humans getting mixed with animals. I thought it was funny HAHAHAHA!
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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