The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by Jennifer at Jean Little Library
(pub. 10.24.2011)  32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor and illustrator: Eric Carle

C haracter: a boy (and the artists, Franz Marc and Eric Carle)

O verview from the jacket flap: 
"In this book, a child paints a blue horse. Then, with growing confidence, the young artist joyfully paints a series of other animals in bold, unrealistic colors and forms... Through his eloquent pictures and an almost wordless text, Eric Carle will inspire young artists everywhere to use their imaginations. They don't have to 'stay within the lines.' And there certainly are no 'wrong' colors. Here is a book to give all children confidence in their own creativity!"

T antalizing taste: There are only about 50 words in this book, and these are my favorite: "I am a good artist." 

and something more: In The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Eric Carle's homage to not only Franz Marc, but his childhood art teacher is so touching.  The back cover explains that, "Eric Carle was born in the United States but grew up in Germany, where he spent his boyhood during World War II.  There, his high school art teacher secretly showed him works by the so-called 'degenerate artists.' These artists, banned by the Nazi regime, were actually the leading masters of modern and abstract art, among them Franz Marc, whose work was not permitted to be shown in public."
       The note at the end of the book explains that when Eric Carle's art teacher, Herr Krauss, secretly showed him some of the forbidden art, he explained,  "'I like the freedom and loosesness in the way you draw and paint ... but I am only permitted to teach realistic art.'"  Eric Carle pays tribute to his art teacher, "My green lion, polka-dotted donkey and other animals painted in the 'wrong' colors were really born that day seventy years ago." Thank you, Herr Krauss, for sharing the banned art with Eric Carle -- oh, how I love the art of his picture books!

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