If you have small children, chances are that Eric Carle’s books feature on your shelves. Like so many families, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a firm favourite here, along with Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See and The Tiny Seed.
Eric Carle has a new book out, called The Nonsense Show and we were of course keen to check it out, and made a craft to go along with it.
The Nonsense Show (click affiliate link to see and buy the book on Amazon) as the name suggests is all about strange and crazy things. There is not so much of a clear story within the book, it has more of a strange dream like feeling where each page shows something else ridiculous and funny that can be conjured up by the imagination.
“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 (and even the cover!). 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.”
For us, ultimately it’s not our favourite Eric Carle book (nothing can beat the Hungry Caterpillar for my kids!) but it is a really unique and different book, with Eric Carle’s trademark artistic style and lots of new ideas to fuel the imagination.
One of our favourite pages in the book is the two headed snake, so we decided to use some simple paper plates and paint to put together our own version of this character.
To make the snake, we used the outer rims of some paper plates with the middles cut away (We used the middles for another craft), then taped them together to make a swirling snake shape.
We painted the snake taking inspiration from the colours in the book illustrations, with splodgy colour and spots, and then stuck on two heads to make a simple and and surreal craft to go along with the nonsensical feel of the book.
You could make other characters from the book too and use the crafts to act out the story. Other funny characters included are a duck with feet and a leopard tiger hybrid.
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