Monday, January 31, 2011

Book 63

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Philomel 2010.

Every so often, Kohl's runs their "Kohl's Cares" program and offers really great books at a really great price, and the net proceeds of which benefits children's health and educational issues. Right now, four of Eric Carle's books are featured in this campaign: The Mixed-Up Chameleon, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Foolish Tortoise, and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Of these four, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is my favorite, and not just because the matching toy at Kohl's was a caterpillar, although that did play a role in my purchasing decision.

For the most people, I probably don't have to explain why The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a wonderful book for any child's library -- it is a counting book, a progressive story, a food story, a color story and a true metamorphosis story. Instead, I will explain why this edition is so wonderful. First of all, the price for a hardback book is outstanding. And it comes with a matching toy (a really large and colorful caterpillar, just like the cover). And it benefits children. And finally, and most exciting to me, there is a foreward by Eric Carle describing how The Very Hungry Caterpillar came into existence.

So, run to Kohl's before this present campaign ends and buy a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (or any of the other three). Not only will you be getting a great book, you'll be helping a very worthwhile cause.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book 62: The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon

Book 62: The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Four Magical Stories, by Crockett Johnson, first story published in 1955, collection reprint 1987, HarperCollins Publishers.

A while ago I reviewed "Not A Box" (Book 29) and commented on how it reminded me of "Harold and the Purple Crayon". I liked "Not A Box" because the genderless rabbit could be male or female and therefore could appeal to a boy or a girl. I love "Harold", though, because he reminds me of my fair-haired, toddling son.

Not only that, "Harold" is about a child's imagination, which I think is an excellent subject for a children's book, especially a clever child's imagination.

The illustrations are simple; the colors are few, although purple does play a prominent role; and the result is perfection in illustration.

As an addendum to this posting, I have to say that not only does my son rather look like Harold, but for the past month or so, he has been coloring on the walls with anything he can find, including a purple crayon. I set up one of those AquaDoodle sheets on the wall to try to limit him coloring with drawing instruments that leave marks that are very difficult to remove from the wall. It helps, but not entirely. Obviously, Crockett Johnson was a genius or he had a two-year-old.

*For other reviews, please see Books I Buy and Why