have a foxy b-day, eric carle!

it’s eric carle‘s birthday, and art bloggers all over the web have been celebrating with their children and colorful animals! we were invited by an amazing child to join the party – and we’re showing up with bells smocks on!

when i think of eric carle, i remember N’s very first baby books and how much she loved when i read the very hungry caterpillar (my all-time fav) and brown bear brown bear to her in our comfy nursing chair before sleepy time. these will always be cozy memories for me. in the past year, N has been reeeeally into foxes – it’s her most favorite animal. can you tell?

i saw the book hello, red fox in our local library and decided to grab it, as we had not read it before. what a perfect choice, as it teaches children about complementary colors in a really cool optical illusion sort of way – and we’ve been exploring color wheels over here lately. we dove right in and read/stared at the book. (if you click this link, you’ll understand why. it’s tricky – like a fox!)

then we got out a bunch of art materials for two different projects…

first, we mixed and created our own color wheel using momma’s fancy watercolors (just because) and talked about the idea of complementary colors… and why the “red” fox on the cover of eric carle’s book was green… hmm…

after that, i suggested we use some of N’s finger paintings brought home from preschool to build an animal – eric carle style! she wanted to make a fox – naturally! (hey, there’s one idea of how to repurpose and transform all of those preschool pieces of art…)

first, we talked about what shapes make up a fox, and she drew them in pencil on top of her fingerpaintings. circle, oval, triangles, rectangles…

then she cut the pieces of a fox… hooray for cutting skills! she did a great job cutting on her pencil lines.

then she pasted them onto a new sheet of paper – N chose black for the background.

after it was glued down, she used a black sharpie (supervised) to add some details to the nose and eyes. this was literally a paint cut paste experience!

what’s your favorite eric carle book, and what memories does it hold for you? have you made any eric carle art with your kiddos? if so, click below to share your own, or click to view many other bloggers’ creative takes on eric carle tribute art!



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  • This is fabulous! I haven’t heard of that story either but I love the idea that it teaches an art concept at the same time! I love reusing old artwork- it feels great to know it has been used and loved a second time. We changed our Eric Carle tissue paper prints into initial art for the girls rooms this week!

  • I love how you incorporated N’s intereest in foxes into this project. And the picture of the two of you reading together is priceless.

  • I think Little M would like the visual of a color wheel. She totally gets color mixing…because she prefers mixing colors to actually painting. The color wheel would help bring it together.

  • maggy

    Aaah that is an ADORABLE Eric Carle inspired piece of art!
    Thank you for sharing our Kids Get Arty journey!Maggy