Title: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle

Publisher: New York: Penguin/Philomel, 2011

Genre: Picture book, fiction, homage to artist Franz Marc

Audience Age: 3-9

Themes/Topics: art, artistic freedom, color, nonconformity, joy in art, confidence in creativity

Opening Sentences: I am an artist and I paint… a blue horse and…

Synopsis: This book is a simple celebration of a child’s joy in art, color and creativity. There is no storyline or plot, it simply shows the fantastical colors the child artist uses to paint familiar animals, indicating to the kids who are looking at the book that they don’t need to be constrained by what is “proper” or what is “usually done” in art.


Provide art supplies and give kids free rein to depict whatever they want, with whatever medium and colors strikes their fancy.

Talk about imagination and the fun of seeing and expressing things differently than usual.

TeacherVision has a lesson plan for this book.

Penguin has a link to a pdf teacher’s guide on the “Teachers and Librarians” page.

Incredible @rt Department has a collage activity for kids to experience for themselves the method Eric Carle uses to create his illustrations.

Availability: The book is readily available in hardcover.   It is also available in Spanish.


Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”


%d bloggers like this: