It’s Eric Carle’s birthday this week, and it just so happens two of the princess and the captain’s favourite (and often requested) books are Eric Carle books.
Title: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle
What it’s about: A hungry caterpillar hatches from an egg and spends each day of the week eating different foods until he becomes fat and makes a cocoon for himself.
Why the fairy princess likes it: She loves all the different foods in the book and naming them all. She’s a big food lover. She also loves what he turns into at the very end of the book (hint: it has very colourful wings).
Favourite part: Saturday, when the caterpillar eats lots of different foods, like cakes, sausages and pies. She likes to point to and name each item of food on the page.
Title: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Author: Bill Martin Jnr.
Illustrator: Eric Carle
What it’s about: Using repetition and rhyme, each page has a different animal and each animal is a different colour (it’s a great book for teaching colours and animals).
Why the captain likes it: The repeating rhyme on each page makes it easy for the captain to ‘read’ the book himself. He also likes being able to predict which animal will be on the next page.
Favourite part: The last page where it lists all the animals from the book (“Children, children, what do you see? We see… “)
Title: Rowan of Rin
Author: Emily Rodda
What it’s about: The water has stopped flowing to the village of Rin, so six of the strongest villagers have been selected to climb the mountain and find the problem. Unfortunately, due to a witch’s idea of a joke, Rowan, the scrawniest and weakest boy of his age, is forced to join the group (as the map given to them by the witch will only reveal its contents when held in Rowan’s hands). One by one, each of the group is tested by the mountain and not all of them make it to the top.
Why I liked it: I love the idea of Rowan – the reluctant hero. He’s small, weak and scared of everything, but he is forced to accompany these six strong, brave villagers in a quest to save the village. I love how through the story he discovers that even the strongest villagers have fears and that even though he is small and weak he has value of his own.
Favourite part: I have always been a fan of riddles, so I loved the riddles/rhymes on the map that warn them of the impending dangers on the mountain. My favourite of all is the first/last:
“Seven hearts the journey make.
Seven ways the hearts will break.
Bravest heart will carry on
When sleep is death, and hope is gone.
Look in the fiery jaws of fear
And see the answer white and clear,
Then throw away all thoughts of home
For only then your quest is done.
All the prophecies had come to pass, except the last. The last, and the most terrible. And now it was time.”