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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Eric Carle - June 25

Happy Birthday, Eric Carle - June 25

Last Friday night, I sat down with our stack of Eric Carle picture books. My wife came into the room after getting our youngest daughter to fall asleep and do you know what she did?

She laughed out loud!

I said, "Are you making fun of the way I like to spend my Friday nights?" She insisted that she wasn't laughing at me, but was just surprised to see me surrounded by books while sitting in a pink bean bag chair. Either way, it's all good. I am perfectly comfortable saying, reading a pile of picture books is great way to spend an evening.

Reading a stack of books by Eric Carle

I wanted to celebrate Eric Carle's birthday with my children again this year and I thought the only way to come up with an idea was to start with the first book in the stack and read as many as I could until I had an activity idea. As I read I separated the books into piles as I read; books with a potential birthday celebration activity idea (Mister SeahorsePapa, Please Get the Moon For Me, and My Apron), books I wanted to read to my kids this week (Draw Me a StarPancakes, Pancakes, and  "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth), and then a pile of all the rest of the books.

Mister Seahorse and Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me caught my attention because Father's Day was just two days away. Both of these books feature fathers;  Mister Seahorse carries eggs in his pouch and meets many other father-fish who also have important responsibilities in raising their young and Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me is a story about a father who goes to great lengths to fulfill his daughter's wish. In fact, Eric Carle wrote Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me for his own daughter, Cirsten. (Jacketflap Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me). 

In Mister Seahorse there are four "peek-a-boo" pages; clear pages with illustrations that hide part of the illustration on the next page. I thought it would be fun to incorporate "peek-a-boo" pages into Father's Day cards, not for me, but for my dad who we would be seeing on Father's Day.
This "peek-a-boo" page has an illustration of a patch of reeds which hides a group of trumpet fish on the next page.
We read Mister Seahorse and talked how about how the "peek-a-boo" pages allowed Eric Carle to hide things on the next page.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
We folded a piece of white card stock paper in half.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Then, we folded a piece of clear transparency film in half.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
We used permanent Sharpie Markers to draw on the clear transparency film. My daughter started by drawing pink leaves.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Then, she drew a seahorse on the white paper.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My oldest son drew trees and a house that hid a dinosaur.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My son drew Lebron James playing basketball against the Chicago Bulls on his card. Then, he wrote "Happy Father's Day" in his best handwriting on the inside.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My oldest daughter drew a baseball bat, ball, and glove on the "peek-a-boo" page which laid on top of a baseball field. She worked really hard on this cool card!
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
My dad loves the Cleveland Browns. I drew two Pittsburgh Steelers defenders on the "peek-a-boo" page.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
On the white paper it is revealed that the Cleveland Browns receiver caught the football for a Touchdown! 

Note: We taped the back of the white paper to the clear transparency film to hold the two pieces together.
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Do you follow Happy Birthday Author on Pinterest? Please pin this picture.
Our first birthday celebration for Eric Carle, five years ago, featured Pancakes, Pancakes (and a smaller stack of books). This year, my youngest daughter woke up asking for pancakes just like Jack in the book. We read the book and made pancakes together for breakfast.

Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
This year's Pancakes, Pancakes breakfast had four children!
Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Five years ago, we only had two kiddos eating pancakes!!
Father's Day Cards inspired by Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.comPancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Memories!!
Do you have a stack of books by Eric Carle? What favorite books would you place on the top of your pile? I hope everyone enjoys this fun day of reading with their little ones! Happy Birthday, Eric Carle!

Pre-order a lap-sized board book edition of PAPA, PLEASE GET THE MOON FOR ME. (Available August 4, 2015):



Links:
4. Previous Birthday Celebrations from Happy Birthday Author - 20102011, 2014
5. Author Study - Scholastic
6. House for Hermit Crab - Lesson Plan (Scholastic)
7. Brown Bear, Brown Bear Teacher's Guide - Brown Bear and Friends
8. Eric Carle Video Interview - Reading Rockets
9. The Education of a Good Picture Writer - Eric Carle - YouTube (a 1 hour long speech)
10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar turns 45 - CBS NEWS video
11. Eric Carle describes his illustration technique with tissue paper - via MacMillanKids on YouTube
12. Eric Carle reads THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR - YouTube
13. Eric Carle activities on Pinterest - Great board with tons of ideas!
14. 45th Anniversary of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR website - Penguin
15. Eric Carle Biography - Eric-Carle.com
16. The World of Eric Carle on Facebook

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