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From Head to Toe

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From Eric Carle, the New York Times bestselling creator of beloved books including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug, comes From Head to Toe, a colorful and energetic book that will have young readers clapping their hands, stomping their feet, and wiggling their toes! This oversize paperback is perfect for classroom sharing.

Giraffes can bend their necks, monkeys can wave their hands, and donkeys can kick their legs. And so can you! Throughout this interactive book, the animals of From Head to Toe invite young readers to copy their antics as they play.

Through Carle’s vibrant collages and simple instructions, children will learn the importance of listening, exercising, and taking on a new challenge. Join the giraffes, monkeys, donkeys, seals, and more for a frolicking, fun adventure!

32 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1997

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About the author

Eric Carle

613 books1,929 followers
Eric Carle was 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 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 the world.

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5 stars
10,254 (50%)
4 stars
5,463 (26%)
3 stars
3,627 (17%)
2 stars
791 (3%)
1 star
262 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 648 reviews
Profile Image for Tina Haigler.
288 reviews97 followers
October 13, 2021
This book is about animals and parts of the body. Another gem from Eric Carle, the bilingual edition is really good if you want to learn a lot of Spanish words and phrases common to native speakers, but might not get taught in class. I will say that it's not for Spanish beginners though. Without a decent amount of Spanish vocabulary, it would be difficult to read this, so it's best read by someone who knows the language well enough to know proper pronunciation. Even with my intermediate knowledge of Spanish, I didn't know some of the words--mostly the verbs and a few body parts--and some of the phrases were worded differently than I'd expect. I will also note, it is not a verbatim translation. For instance "Claro que sí" is a phrase that roughly means "Of course", not "I can do it", which is what the English version says. Personally I found this to be a valuable tool for learning, for both myself and my kids, and I plan on buying a copy for my grandson to add to his collection. The book itself says it's for ages up to 4 but I think the bilingual edition is great for any age.
Profile Image for Karina.
803 reviews
March 5, 2020
Spanish Edition--- We love Eric Carle in our house. This one was silly animal moves. The moves started from a pingüinos cabeza to a burro que da patadas.

The kids enjoyed this one. Claro que si!
Profile Image for CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian.
1,118 reviews1,342 followers
October 21, 2021
Another fun Eric Carle bilingual (English / Spanish) board book! Right now the only action in the book my baby can do is kick her legs, but I can't wait to read this with her when she can do all the animal actions (and uh, she can understand what I'm saying--she's only 6 weeks old).
Profile Image for Marcelle Kosman.
3 reviews35 followers
July 7, 2017
Listen this is an incredible book. Not only is it a riveting story of attempts and accomplishments across multi-species lines (CAN you do it???), it celebrates each highlighted ability equally. Its greatest strength is the illustrations. The multi-racial children are ALL gender ambiguous and their animal pairings explode gender and racial stereotypes.
IMHO 9/10; lacks clear inclusion of disabilities.
72 reviews13 followers
January 16, 2011
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!
Profile Image for Jessica Brown.
311 reviews2 followers
March 28, 2017

On a more reasonable note, I will just paperclip that page so it is never seen by children's eyes during storytime. Because the book is great, with good interactive movement and different animals doing different things. I really think it'd be great for all ages. But damn you, donkey.
Profile Image for Cynda .
1,253 reviews142 followers
March 15, 2021
I remembered erm for art technique I describe here.

I knew of The Very Hungry Catepillar and of The Very Quiet Cricket which I read to my son now fully grown and not interested in any books by Eric Carle. I still am.

This body awareness book can help a small child to identify body abilities and to reinforce innate awareness of connections with animals.

I am rating this book at a three because the concept is good and because I like the art. I am rating the book no higher as there are yoga books for children that depict safer positioning of the body.

About the art. Loving the technique used to create the illusion of fur. I see the etching--where a lower level is exposed by scratching off the top layer. Then lower level seems to be a water-based medium and the higher a wax-based medium. I could do this with water color pencils and wax-based art pencils. Maybe a new coloring technique to try when I color cats?
Profile Image for Jennifer Welsh.
219 reviews160 followers
August 16, 2022
I bought this for my 2-yr-old niece, thinking that my 4-yr-old nephew who talks to me about mass and density, while also pointing out that my shirt is teal, would be bored. Nope. They enjoyed this together and alone, each one wanting to turn to it again and again. It’s simple, there’s no story: it just asks you on each page to make an easy, physical move like the animal in the picture. For a physical book, it never got them overstimulated, and it’s a quick read.
Profile Image for Candace.
869 reviews
March 29, 2019
In this interactive book the animals do something and the child does it too. For example, a seal claps, a giraffe bends its neck and a camel bends its knees. The collage illustrations are large and colorful. The sentences are in a question and answer format. The exercises will keep young bodies moving. Readers will want to join in these fun activities with the animals.
Profile Image for Neda.
427 reviews76 followers
October 17, 2021
I can imagine that this book creates lots of fun and laughter for kids, especially very young ones.
The main part is that children are going to imitate the movements and play with the one reading the book for them.
49 reviews1 follower
July 16, 2014
This is a very interactive book so this is not for circle time if you want them to sit. The children love to be real silly with the actions in this book mimicking what they can do from head to toe; funny indeed.
Profile Image for  Charlie.
477 reviews216 followers
May 16, 2017
No story or character arcs at all just a bunch of animals saying "can you do this?"
Profile Image for Ashley Adams.
1,127 reviews28 followers
March 5, 2020
Animals, colorful pictures, body part identification. I guess this book is fine. I just happen to hate it. Really kind of hate it.
Profile Image for Shawn Deal.
Author 9 books15 followers
March 30, 2017
A cute book that goes through several animals showing what they can do in body movements as compared to a human. Very clever.
Profile Image for Laura.
25 reviews
May 16, 2022
This book is fun, especiallywhen you sing and do the actions from the story. Wonderful illustrations, as is expected from Eric Carle!
Profile Image for Rebecca.
364 reviews5 followers
June 18, 2020
My toddler and preschooler love to do the actions while I read the book.
23 reviews
October 13, 2015
Title: From Head to Toe
Author: Eric Carle
Genre: Predictable Book
Theme(s): Body movements, body parts, abilities, repetition, animals
Opening line/sentence: I am a penguin and I can turn my head. Can you do it?
Brief Book Summary:
I am a penguin and I can turn my head. Can you do it?
In this classic Eric Carle book, he depicts animals teaching children how to do simple movements with their bodies. Each time a child is able to copy the animal they say with joy, “I can do it!”
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Malcolm (BookHive)
This is a participatory book by renowned children’s book author Eric Carle. Children can bend their necks and turn their heads, and do other motions throughout the picture book. This book can also uplift a child’s self-esteem and act as a means of motivation. Every time the narrator asks children to mimic an animal’s movement, the characters boldly answer “I can do it!” and a child is seen on each page doing the movement. This will book can forge an interactive relationship between storyteller and their audience. It is a must read for young children.
Professional Recommendation/Review #2:
Can you turn your head like a penguin? Raise your shoulders like a buffalo? Thump your chest like a gorilla? Carle's boldly colored collages on white backgrounds exaggerate each animal's movements and lend this 'animal-aerobics' approach to exercise visual as well as physical fun.
Response to Two Professional Reviews: The professional reviews both see this book as a positive motivator for young children as well as a way to get them involved in fun movements or exercises. They both touch on the classic Eric Carle collages. Lastly, both reviews discuss the animal theme, which along with each of the other repetitive themes in the book, can be used as a teaching tool.
Evaluation of Literary Elements:
This book is perfect for a young audience due to its repetitive and predictable nature. The brightly colored pictures against the white background create a fun vibrant image. Through these pictures and words, children can mimic the animals and learn these fun movements just like the children from the book.
Consideration of Instructional Application:
This book can be used to teach children to take risks and (as Malcolm said) promote self-esteem. Teachers can have students stand and teach the class a movement. It can even be used to inspire tissue paper collages in an art project.
Profile Image for Amy Beckett.
23 reviews1 follower
October 19, 2018
I took this book with me to Barcelona in my first year of uni, where I had the opportunity to teach English in a small village primary school. This was such an interactive and fun way for children to begin to learn basic words in the English language and solidify their knowledge by acting out the described movements. We read this book as a shared reading activity in their hall, acting out each page brought such excitement for the children and really boosted their confidence in learning English.
Profile Image for Joan.
2,493 reviews28 followers
May 21, 2018
A question-and-answer format introduces young children to basic body parts and simple movements. Different animals ask the questions; several children give the answers. Young readers will happily embrace the opportunity to move and be part of the action.

Young children will enjoy the illustrations and will have fun identifying the various animals in the book.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Darinda.
8,062 reviews144 followers
October 1, 2017
A fun, active book. The book depicts animals doing various movements, like stomping, wiggling, thumping, etc. It's a great one to get your little one moving. My son and I love reading this one and doing the different actions.
Profile Image for Jeff Grosser.
184 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2019
I watched an old episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and there was a feature on Eric Carle. It showed how Eric creates his paintings and then he read this book with Mr. Rogers. It was very entertaining and educational.
Profile Image for Hunter Paul.
5 reviews
February 23, 2018
I love to try all the things the animals do in this book!! My favorite is to kick like a donkey!
Profile Image for Kelly Lin.
16 reviews
May 5, 2018
This is a great book because in this book it show different action movement for children. Also children can have their gross motor skill to move their body. They also can learn different type of emotion from this book and thing that they know. It is a good book for children.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 648 reviews

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