Writer, know thyself

I don’t need inspiration from real children,” he liked to say. “The real test is the child within me.”

Eric Carle, children’s author and illustrator,

6 thoughts on “Writer, know thyself”

  1. My kids got bored with The Very Hungry Caterpillar nearly as fast as I did.
    We are often told that this is a golden age for children’s literature but it’s not true. Much of it is rehashed Aesop fable or similar. Updated just enough to avoid charges of plagiarism.

  2. He did one which liked about Jack’s pancake. His mum made him reap the wheat, thresh it, separate the chaff, mill it, for the flour. Then made him milk the cow, churn it to make the butter, can’t remember but think also he had to make the jam.

  3. The thing about Eric Carle was that he wrote books that had a beautiful rhythm to the words. So they are a joy to read. Julia Donaldson is the same. Lesser writers are happy to settle for any old word, but a genius will take the time to find precisely the right one.

    I always liked reading The Bad-Tempered Ladybird to my children. I loved how he picked fights with ever-increasing creatures, only to refuse to fight them when they actually accepted.

  4. We too had this book, in fact multiple copies of it, and I never really warmed to it. Rod Campbell’s ‘Pop up Jungle’ is even simpler and frankly brilliant. Also to mention Jon Klassen’s ‘I want my hat back’.

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