This will be a post without a picture because I would never ever dream of breaking the copyrights of Eric Carle. He is BY FAR my favorite artist, writer, and illustrator. You may be familiar with his work. Two of my favorites are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you Hear? and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
In 1935 I started school in Syracuse. I remember vividly a sun-filled room, large sheets of paper, colorful paints, and fat brushes. One day my mother was asked to see the teacher. Convinced that her son had misbehaved – why else would a parent be asked to come to the school? – she was immensely relieved to be told that her boy not only enjoyed drawing and painting but that he was good at it. It was impressed upon my mother that from now on she was to encourage and nurture this talent. This was advice she would honor for the rest of her life.
It struck me as I kept reading how this small experience of a teacher praising a talent in Kindergarten, totally and completely shaped the work of Eric Carle. His mother always encouraged him from that time forward and Eric remembered this as his initial moment of feeling talented.