Open Sesame: New Picture Books by Carle & Henkes

Open Sesame: Kid Lit Musings and Review by Cheli Mennella

A Pair of Irresistible New Picture Books
By Two Masters of the Craft

The Nonsense Show is the newest picture book from beloved author and illustrator, Eric Carle. The master of picture book art uses his iconic tissue paper collage to create delightfully absurd images, introducing kids to surrealism, the avant-garde movement of the early 20th century, which sought to unleash the wild imagination of the unconscious mind. Carle does not teach the concept of surrealism, rather he allows kids to experience it firsthand through his whimsical interplay of the expected and unexpected. From the cover image of a yellow duck emerging from a peeled banana and the title page with a deer sprouting a rack of flowers, to an irresistible invitation – “Welcome, friends!/ Don’t be slow./Step right up to/ The Nonsense Show!” – the crazy is contagious. Young readers will rush the stage to see the rabbit magician pull a small boy out of a top hat. In vivid color and rhyming text, a parade of illogical juxtapositions, such as a bird flying underwater, a fish swimming in a birdcage, a child in a kangaroo’s pouch, and a girl playing tennis with an apple, stretch the imagination and twist the mind. Kids will laugh out loud at the ridiculousness while pondering the possibility of the preposterous. Carle understands the inner world of children, their innate creative freedom, their penchant for play, and their ease with the silly, the strange, and the surreal. And he translates this through incomparable style and artistic genius. At 86 years old, he continues to be an innovator of the picture book and a ringmaster of entertainment. Nonsense lovers of all ages will want a first row seat at this show.

  • The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle. Published by Philomel Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-399-17687-6

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Ticket Giveaway: Family 4-Pack to “A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar” at The Colonial Theatre

A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar:
Treasured Stories by Eric Carle
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA
Sunday, October 28th @ 2pm

Enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to  A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Sunday, Oct. 28th at 2pm. Deadline to enter: 10/23/12.

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to one lucky family to see the much-anticipated new production from Mermaid TheatreA Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar!

This new production brings together three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and a young girl on an unusual quest from the poignant story, Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me. Evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry entertain and educate.

This production in Berkshire County is on Sunday, October 28th at 2pm at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA. Win a 4-pack of tickets and take your family for a delightful Sunday afternoon performance! Deadline to enter to win: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST). More details below.


The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires.  Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Berkshire County, including The Colonial Theatre. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. For more information on BTF call 413-298-5536 or go online to


Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Mermaid Theatre’s production of A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA Sunday, October 28th @ 2pm (valued at $60) is easy & simple! To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY   below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST).

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