03 November 2011

Reach Out and Touch the Page

Lois Ehlert is one of the best illustrators out there, in my very humble opinion. Her medium is collage and she infuses natural elements, as well as found objects, into her art. Her pictures are so detailed and textured, that you can't help but touch the page thinking you will feel the birds' feathers, the butterflies' wings or the dogs' fur.

Many of her books that she has worked on have science connections, so I have used a lot of them in my lessons. The books that she also authors are mostly written on a primary level, so they are perfect for kinders and first graders.

Isaac is a science kid, so I try to bring home books that match his interests. He also has a quirky sense of humor, so I also look for books that will make him laugh. Ehlert has two books out this year that fit the bill.

Ten Little Caterpillars
is written by Bill Martin (Brown Bear, Brown Bear) and his collaboration with Ehlert on this book is reminiscent of his work with Eric Carle. It is a life cycle book, but the added details in the labeling and the illustrations make it stand out.

My favorite of her new books, though, and the one that got Isaac laughing, is Rrralph. Remember all of those bad "talking dog" puns that made you groan? They are all here in this story. They still make you groan, but you giggle, too. The dog in the story, with his tab top nose and zipper mouth is adorable.

Fall is a perfect time to enjoy Ehlert's books. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf and Leaf Man are two you should check out, especially once all of the color is gone from the trees.

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