Five Must Reads for Early Years

The National Association for the Teaching of English and the TES magazine have just released their list of ‘must reads’ for children. In the top ten there are five books aimed at nursery aged children:

- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

- Dogger by Shirley Hughes

- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

All classics and enjoyed by children and adults alike. I’d be hard pressed to choose my favourite book out of that list.
However, one author/artist stands out for me and that’s Eric Carle. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is his best known book and has been used by children worldwide to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly. But did you know he’s got another 65 books under his belt? Cor, he’s been a busy man.

How Eric Carle Makes His Pictures.

His technique is very simple, but really effective, and can be copied by the children.

Step 1 – Paint a pattern on to tissue paper.

Step 2 – Let it dry.

Step 3 – Cut the tissue paper into the shapes you need.

Step 4 – Stick down your shapes onto white card to make your picture.

Step 5 – Cover in PVA.

OK it’s not his exact method but it’s not far off. You can see how Eric Carle makes his pictures on his website.

You can let the children be quite free with their cutting or you could even get them tearing the paper to make shapes.

If you don’t want to paint the tissue, that’s fine. Simply use coloured tissue paper to give your pictures life and vibrancy.

So, let the children be inspired by Eric Carle to make pictures. They’ll have a great time, learn some creative processes and it’ll give you plenty of opportunity for educational chat.

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