Posted by Nat Bernstein
I don’t know anyone who didn’t grow up with Eric Carle, whether has a young reader or a parent or a grandparent. Universally familiar to the last half century of children and those who read with them, the distinct artwork and restrained text prompting readers to turn the to the next page impacted if not defined how generation after generation learned to see the world around them: the personalities of animals, the adventures of insects, the vibrancy of the natural world.
As much a novelty of nostalgia as a short picture book for all ages, one of Eric Carle’s most beloved characters returns between heart-patterned flyleaf pages to deliver a continuous message of love:
“You are so sweet, the cherry on my cake, the bees knees,” the captions read. “You make the sun shine brighter, that stars sparkle, the birds sing, my heart flutter.” Who wouldn’t want to share that with their lovebug, large or small?
Eric Carle gave one of my favorite interviews of all time in The Paris Review for Young Readers, Spring 2015. Everyone who has ever met or been a child should read it. And check out the Eric Carle Museum, too.
- Michal Hoschander Malen: The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter
- JBC Bookshelf: Valentine’s Day
- Lisa Alcalay Klug: Not Feeling the Candy Hearts? Turn Around Your 50 Shades of Abysmal Gray
Nat Bernstein is the former Manager of Digital Content & Media, JBC Network Coordinator, and Contributing Editor at the Jewish Book Council and a graduate of Hampshire College.