Friday, October 16, 2015

The Nonsense Show

I am so, so, SO excited and over the moon to have a chance to review Eric Carle's new book, The Nonsense Show.

The Nonsense Show - Eric Carle
The Nonsense Show

Ducks growing out of bananas? A mouse catching a cat? What’s wrong with this book?

Yes, there’s something strange, something funny and even downright preposterous on every page of this book  But it’s not a mistake – it’s nonsense!  And it’s also surrealism. Nonsense lies at the heart of many beloved nursery rhymes.  Children readily accept odd statements like “the cow
jumped over the moon” and “the dish ran away with the spoon.”  This fanciful bending of reality is also basic to surrealism.

In this book, nonsense and surrealism combine to spark creativity and imagination.  What’s true? What’s impossible? What’s absolutely absurd? From Eric Carle, creator of the classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, comes a book to make children laugh and think, preparing them for a
lifetime of loving both words and art.

Following on the heels of The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse (an homage to the artist Franz Marc and expressionism) and Friends, with its semi-abstract artwork,  The Nonsense Show  forms a trilogy of sorts, dedicated to introducing young readers to different styles of artwork without ever overlooking the need to, first and foremost, appeal to children and their love of play. One of the true legends and pioneers of picture book making continues to expand and challenge the genre. 

First and foremost, I am probably biased because I am a huge fan of Eric Carle. We have so many of his books and my children love his illustrations and we never tire of his wonderful stories. When this book showed up at my house my kids got SO excited. We read it immediately and my kids loved it. The great part is that we recognized so many things from some of his other books and as usual, the illustrations were on spot. 

As an extra bonus, I decided to read it to three first grade classrooms who are actually celebrating Eric Carle as their author of the month and these kids were SO excited to see the book, read it with me, and talk about why each page was silly. The children were all laughing, they liked how the book had lots of opposites (the lion taming the people, the rabbit pulling a man out of the hat, etc), and their favorite was the duck with human feet and the horse/human switching heads. The children also really enjoyed the illustrations with Eric Carle's distinctive artwork and a few even noticed his author photo on the back cover was altered! Each page is a different silly photo with an even sillier description of what happens during a Nonsense Show. 

It's books like Eric Carle's that can really jump start the love of reading and literature and his career is epic. To think this may very well be his last children's book, well that's kind of sad. I understand it though, he's reached an age where anyone of us would want to be retired and enjoy life. But with that in mind, this would be a great note to go out on- this book is funny, it's silly, and it's a great family read. If you have little ones, this would be a great addition to your family library! 

You can get this book on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble. Seriously, this is going to make a great Christmas gift for any child in your life, I highly recommend it! It's perfect for younger children who cannot read on their own yet, those just learning their sight words, and even those who are fluent readers! 

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