Once there were two friends who were always together . . .
But one day, the boy was all alone. His friend was gone.
When a beloved playmate moves away, it can be painful for the child who is left behind. But the plucky boy in this upbeat story makes up his mind to find his missing friend. Young readers will cheer him on his quest, as they respond to the humour and fantasy of the story and the poetic imagery of the illustrations. And they will delight in stretching their own imaginations to follow the friends to the fanciful surprise ending.
In this book, Eric Carle uses his colourful hand-painted tissue papers to create both conventional and semi-abstract images as the text moves between reality and make-believe. When the story begins, the illustrations are conventional, changing to semi-abstraction and then returning in the end to the original style.
Many children in today’s super-mobile society must part with best friends as families move to new locations. Friendship, lost and then regained, is the main theme of this reassuring story, which also celebrates the joyful creativity of young children at play. Underlying the story is Eric Carle’s lifelong dedication to helping small children face life’s changes with confidence and optimism, as well as his interest in fostering their appreciation of fine art, nature and the environment, and the joy of learning.
Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.
Eric Carle’s art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension – die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket’s song as in The Very Quiet Cricket – giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle’s books’ appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.