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The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse Hardcover – Oct 4 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399257136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399257131
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 1 x 31.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #189,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Eric Carle lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. Visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9919a6b4) out of 5 stars 74 reviews
136 of 137 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99240e70) out of 5 stars Deceptively simple, yet profoundly effective Oct. 6 2011
By J.Prather - Published on
Format: Hardcover
On the surface, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse seems pretty simple and rather plain. For me, it took only a little further exploration and one opportunity to read it to a group of two year olds for this this book to reveal it's brilliance and depth. The illustrations are vintage Carle. The format is large and the colors are bold. The text is very minimal. We start out with a boy introducing himself by saying "I am an artist and I paint...". We are then treated to a variety of animals all in different and totally unexpected colors. We have a blue horse, a red crocodile, a yellow cow, a black polar bear and best of all, a polka dotted donkey. The book concludes back with our young artist stating "I am a good artist".

When I shared this with a group, we started just making all the animal sounds, but it wasn't long before the kids caught on to the fact that these animals weren't the right colors, and that's when smiles broke out all around. When we arrived at the black polar bear, some kids were confused and it gave us a good chance to talk about art and the freedom to make things whatever color you want. By the time we arrived at the polka dotted donkey, I heard chuckles and I hope maybe a few parents went home to encourage their young artists to make their own polka dotted animals.

The very idea of this book celebrates joyous, free expression and I would recommend it for any story time audience of toddlers or young preschoolers. It goes far in giving youngsters permission to think outside of the box, all done in a way that makes perfect sense to them. Try this book out for your story time group and watch their eyes light up with the possibilities. This is also an excellent choice for any young family wishing to encourage creativity and free thinking. I can't think of a better literary first step.
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9906db58) out of 5 stars terrific creative inspirational Oct. 5 2011
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The child is an artist painting a blue horse followed by a red crocodile and then a yellow cow. The kid continues to paint other animals using colors like orange for the elephant and polka-dots for donkey drawn from pictures in the mind's eye.

Although the targeted audience is pre-school with a strong message of use your imagination to take you where you want to be, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is much more. Eric Carle pays homage to Franz Marc who painted The Blue Horse in 1911; he died during WWI and a few years later the Nazis banned his work. Readers of all ages will appreciate Mr. Carle's original way to encourage the young artist in everyone to draw your imagination and to showcase the work of a great painter from a century ago while also showcasing his on skills. With a green lion, a black polar bear and a purple fox oh my, this is a terrific creative inspirational.

Harriet Klausner
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99089f54) out of 5 stars Vibrant and unexpected Nov. 2 2011
By E. Strickenburg - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Generations of children have been captivated by the vibrant illustrations of Eric Carle; The Very Hungry Caterpillar was a favorite of mine as a child, and now my son loves it too. But in "The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse" we find something new. The illustrations still have the bold cut-out feel of classic Eric Carle, but the animals come in unexpected colors. From a blue horse to a purple fox, these familiar animals in unusual guise surprise and intrigue us.

The story is simple but powerful. Short bites of toddler-friendly text tell of a young child with a paint brush, who realizes the value of his art, even though it defies conventions. Messages conveyed include encouraging creativity, valuing oneself, and accepting the unexpected as "different" rather than "wrong."

At the back of the book, we find the story within a story. This book comes as a tribute to German Expressionist painter Franz Marc, whose art was suppressed under the Nazi regime. Marc used color in a unique and startling way in his work; each color was symbolic of a certain idea or emotion. He's particularly well known for his paintings of blue horses, the color blue representing to him the concepts of masculinity and spirituality.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9961fe64) out of 5 stars The only book my kids ask for Oct. 23 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
We got this book a few weeks ago and our 21 month old twins ask for it multiple times a day. They are mesmerized by the pictures. One would think that I would get tired of reading it but I find myself happy to pull it off the shelf when they ask. Great book!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x991a7d20) out of 5 stars Good for both Children and Adult Artists Nov. 25 2011
By P. Adams - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice message - that it is OK to paint what you want. You don't have to stay in the lines and you can paint things 'as you see them' - not as they are 'supposed to be' using someone else's standards.

I think this is a great lesson for both adults and children. It is OK - even Good - to be yourself. The very simple message stays with you through the 'different' images he offers - thus the recommendation for both child and adult artists.