The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

What It Is

This title, released last fall, is Eric Carle’s first new picture book in more than four years. It is about an artist who paints animals as he sees them. The blue horse of the title is accompanied by a yellow cow, purple fox, red crocodile and other animals. In creating this book, Mr. Carle was inspired by the work of Expressionist painter Franz Marc, a German painter who is known for using blue horses in his paintings.

Why It’s Fun

This newer title has Eric Carle’s inspired trademark style and artistry. I love his books for their simplicity and usefulness in teaching colors and animals. Where this selection misses the mark for me is that it is too simple. Missing are the repetition and whimsy of classics such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. After reading those books so many times they are committed to memory for life, this story ended a bit too quickly, leaving the listeners in my house wanting more. Of course, it’s tough to live up to such beloved classics in the Carle collection, but we were still a little disappointed.

Who’s Going To Love It

The publisher’s recommended age is 3 to 6, but I found my daughter’s “grew out” of Eric Carle’s books by age 3-ish. Since this title is more simplistic than the others, I could easily see kids topping out at 3. Unless you are a die-hard Eric Carle fan, I say try it before you buy it. Or, at least read this book before his other classics if you are new to his work.

Reading Time

About 1 minute

Read-It-Again Points

5 out of 10

Book Information

Written and Illustrated by: Eric Carle
Published by: Penguin Young Readers Group (2011)
Approximate retail price: $17.99 (hardcover only)
Publisher’s recommended ages: 3-6


What do you think about The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse?

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