Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Czech? Check!

Following my previous post about Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's poignant musical composition, "Goin' Home", I think I'll continue on with my admiration for Czech artists by sharing a fun children's book by a talented author/illustrator from Prague! 

The book is The Mouse Who Ate the Moon, by Petr Horacek.
When my daughter brought this charming book home from the library for her son, she astutely observed, "The story and illustrations are like Eric-Carle-meets-Krtek".  

Not surprisingly, the author/illustrator Petr Horacek relates (here) that growing up in the Czech Republic, he loved the cartoon character Krtek ("Little Mole"), created by Zdenek Miler.  
Our family knows about Krtek because my oldest son David studied film in Prague, where the Little Mole has been a beloved character since the mid-1950's.  (Sadly Zdenek Miler, Krtek's creator, died while our son was there in 2011. We're so happy David brought home a little stuffed Krtek and a couple of cute Krtek books, which my grandson loves.)

Back to Petr Horacek: he also said in an interview that Eric Carle is a favorite illustrator of his [source].  The drawings and storyline in Horacek's The Mouse Who Ate the Moon do remind me a lot of Eric Carle's Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me.
Eric Carle's Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me.
I love the bright and colorful Eric-Carle-style images that Horacek painted for his Mouse book, which also involves two other very Krtek-like characters: a mole, and a rabbit...
One evening, a mouse, peering out of her hole, looks at the moon and wishes she could have a piece for her very own.
The next morning, when she sees something she has never seen before - a yellow banana - she thinks a piece of the moon has fallen from the sky and that her wish has come true!
Before she knows it, she's eaten half of it and is regretful, thinking the moon won't be round anymore.
His friends, Rabbit and Mole assure the Mouse, "Nobody can eat the moon,"  and they take her to the top of a hill and show her -- "slowly, something shiny appeared behind the trees."
It was, of course, the moon. Relieved, they go and sit under the stars and eat the other half of Little Mouse's "moon", while the real moon lights up the sky behind them.

This sweet story is a great way to introduce the concept of moon phases to young children.  Great for ages 2-5.

Go here to see other picture books by Petr Horacek. 

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