Friday, October 10

Eric Carle Spotlight & Craft

At a recent youth librarian training conference, I got to see an awesome documentary on picture book author, Eric Carle. He's a brilliant author/illustrator who is most famously known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Here's a trailer for the documentary:

from Kate Geis on Vimeo.

If there is some way you can get your hands on this dvd, I would highly recommend it. Some libraries do carry it, or you can purchase it from Eric Carle's museum shop.

What I was most impressed by, in the end, was how simple his art really is. Anyone can do it. Especially kids! So I think we should try it out. There is a simplified slide show of how he does his work on his web page. He uses a razor to cut out the shapes of tissue paper he's painted. He then glues all the shapes together on some art board to create his characters.

We can take his method a variety of ways. If there's time, painting tissue paper all kinds of colors is really fun. After it dries, you then trace each shape and glue it all together.

But say you just have one storytime. Basically, it's time to cut out some colored tissue and make some fun collages.

Craft Time Idea

I used:

  • paper
  • multi-colored tissue paper
  • crayons
  • glue stick
  • scissors
First, trace the shape of whatever it is you want to create. With really young kids, you might elect to have a shape (an animal or fall leaf or whatever) already printed onto the paper, and they can fill in the tissue paper on their own.

Now, because I wanted mine to fit perfectly, I traced the shape onto my tissue paper, so I knew how much to cut out. Kids might have more fun just eyeballing it. 

Next, start cutting out all your pieces.

If it all seems to fit just right, start gluing it down. Generally, it is easier to glue the paper itself, and then stick the tissue paper to it. If you try putting the glue stick to the tissue paper, it often rips.

Since I chose to do a snowy owl (recognize him?), I elected to do a background. Because what snowy owl doesn't love wandering a pink field of daisies?

And I colored in the sky. Ta-da! Let's take a final close-up

Nope, it's not perfect. But that's what makes it fun! Eric Carle's work isn't perfect either. But it's just right for his beloved stories. 

Try it out! 

Some of Eric Carle's Books

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