The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse Hardcover – Oct 4 2011
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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 Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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.