Since I just reviewed an Eric Carle book, I thought I would follow it with his latest. THE NONSENSE SHOW is totally crazy and wacky! It exudes nonsense and imaginative voice. The book jacket labels the work “nonsense and surrealism,” sparking “creativity and imagination.”
I looked up the definition of “surrealism” and found that it means “to feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur.” Then I looked up non sequitur to make sure I understood what I was about to say in this review: non sequitur means
OH, MY! I thought I was looking at and reading an Eric Carle book, not a big-words-for-us-little-kids book! But by those definitions, this colorful, wacky book does just all of those things. Objects are placed backwards, upside-down, all turned around. Words say things that are not; they come at the reader with silliness and unpredictability.
A bird is swimming in an aquarium while just across the double page is a fish in a bird cage.
A woman with a tennis racquet gets ready to hit the ball.
“‘What a funny-looking ball,’
Thought the tennis ace
And wound up
In her face.” (the ball was an apple)
Every double page is full of silly characters–people or animals acting in reverse of what we would imagine. Silly things are said that just don’t make much, if any, sense at all. It is just plain CRAZY!!
Eric Carle’s wonderful art is at its usual best–colorful, bright, bold, and wonderful.
Reading Level: 3 – 7 Years
Eric Carle was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929. In 1935, his parents returned to their home of Germany where Mr. Carle was educated. He attended a prestigious art school in Stuttgart, Germany, Akademie der bilenden Künste. He dreamed of returning to America and, in 1952, he did. He worked for the promotion department of The New York Times and then became the art director of an advertising agency.
Bill Martin, Jr. saw an ad done by Eric Carle and called to see if he would illustrate a children’s book he had written. This collaboration is known to the world today as “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” His world changed. He began writing and illustrating his own children’s books.
“Eric Carle has two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. He divides his time between the Florida Keys and the hills of North Carolina.” **
He and his wife, Bobbi, dreamed of and built The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. They “were interested in developing enthusiasts for the art of picture books and in encouraging the habit of museum going in our younger visitors. Children’s picture book art is the introduction to art for young people, and we wanted to show the highest examples of that art to demonstrate the beauty, the seriousness and the fun of it. We wanted to create a museum that exhibits the work of national and international picture book artists.” ** PLUS…his museum site has activities and games, resources, and so much more.
You can also find him at his own website and blog here – http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html
If you love to read Eric Carle’s books with your children and want activities to go along with them, I suggest doing a search for “activities Eric Carle” (or a few other similar words). There is a plethora of creative activities to go with each of his books amassed on the internet for your perusal and use.
- ISBN-13: 9780399176876
- Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date: 10/13/2015
- Pages: 40
- Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 12.30(h) x 0.50(d)
** information from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art