Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Poetry, Reading



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 an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises; a statement containing an illogical conclusion.

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.

She says,

“‘What a funny-looking ball,’

Thought the tennis ace

And wound up

With applesauce

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 –

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.

Book Information: 

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


I am a quiet woman growing each day in the LORD. Christ is my home. He is the well from which I drink. I became His 25 years ago. I am 71 so that is actually a small percentage of my life through which I could have walked closely with Him. No matter, He never stopped waiting for me. I am now a widow from a Christ-centered marriage of 25 years to Kenneth. I praise God for him. I miss him so. We had no children. I feel God’s call to be His light in this dark world. I am grateful for the love God gives to me so I may give it away. I live in Lufkin, Texas, USA (in Deep East Texas/Pineywoods). I have taught Women’s Sunday School/Bible Study, co-administrated/taught a teen girls’ annual conference. I participate in women’s Bible studies in church as well as on my own. I am a retired elementary school teacher, having taught in California, Washington, D.C., and have taught older children and adults in Oregon and Texas. I also retired from being a children’s librarian in the public library system, a job I thoroughly loved. I tutored primary-aged children who are falling behind in those early years of school until we moved in May 2017.

8 thoughts on “THE NONSENSE SHOW by Eric Carle

  1. I have glanced at it at a bookstore, but still not read and looked thoroughly. You’ve made it sound like a turning point for Eric Carle, or just plain fun. Thanks for the great review.


    1. Yes, Linda, I am not quite sure if “turning point” or “just plain fun” or both tell the story here! It is Eric Carle and he can do whatever his heart desires, can’t he? : )


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