Today I am sharing with you three Eric Carle Book Songs that I’ve written over the years, inspired by the, of course the incredible, beautiful work of beloved children’s author, illustrator and artist, Eric Carle.
You probably heard that a week ago, Sunday, Eric Carle, passed away.
I know that this man – his books and his art – had a beautiful impact on so many of us – as teachers, parents and children. His work inspired me, and led me to several Eric Carle Book Songs, lesson plans and activities over the years.
So, today’s post and email is a tribute to him. The two books of his – one that he illustrated and one that he wrote and illustrated – that had the most impact on me were (of course) Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
I have THREE VIDEOS of Eric Carle Book Songs to share with you today. The first is, of course, The Brown Bear Rap!
In 2007 when I was lucky enough to find myself as a preschool teacher with my own classroom – Eric Carle’s art was all over it! We were The Goldfish, and I copied, labeled and laminated 70+ goldfish from Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See for each little one in my class and their cubbies (removable/changeable with each class).
And then – snack & story time twice a day (I taught two, 2-hour, adult/child preschool readiness class each day) we read that book. Over time, I added sounds and movements and The Brown Bear Rap was born!
It debuted on my video show on YouTube in 2012 (that’s the above video) & then on my album, Sha Doo Be Doop in 2013.
It’s easily one of my most requested & popular songs – no doubt because use of those beautiful pictures that help children with their pre-reading skills and helped them to fall in love with books!
Back in 2013 – and still today! SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live played this song so often. In fact – you can still request it!
And then came The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I still have all the items I would put up on my bulletin board, each year, for my Very Hungry Caterpillar Unit.
The book is full of easy concepts – sun and moon, day and night, little and big, numbers and counting – and in such vivid and bright colors. And because of these concepts and simply written story, the kids can latch on and understand the story at the youngest of ages.
My first year teaching this unit, we did all kinds of caterpillar and butterfly art with watercolors and coffee filters, we had a Very Hungry Caterpillar Party at snack time with all the foods in the book represented! But while planning circle time, I was trying to come up with some simple songs that the kids could easily sing and move along to, while also re-capping the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. So, I “re-wrote”, so to speak, the words to Old MacDonald to make:
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR WENT OUT ONE DAY:
It was also way back then in 2008 or 2009 when I found the rhyme Roly Poly Caterpillar and put that in the lesson plan.
And then all this time later, last Spring while doing free Facebook Lives and teaching Tunes & Tales online (there’s two weeks left of class – you can still drop-in before we wrap up!) I came up with a fun way of singing the middle of the book – when he eats all the food. I took the tune of Alice The Camel and made this:
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR COUNTING SONG
My personal library of Children’s Books is full of all the other Eric Carle books – and I have lesson planned around all of them. In fact, I offer an Eric Carle Book Bash as one of my school and llibary shows.
I’m sure you have your own beautiful experiences with Eric Carle and his work – and how they’ve impacted you and the little ones in your life. If you are taking time to celebrate his life and work, feel free to use any of these videos and/or songs in your classes, homes, center, etc.
And just a personal note I want to share that I am writing this to you now after my first long weekend/vacation in 16+ months, and my first time seeing my mother since January 5th, 2020. I am a mix of so many emotions and feelings, but chief is relief. What a relief to hug my mom. And then just sooooo gooooood to just be with her and see other family and friends – even though it was only for a brief time.
If there’s one thing that living through this Global Pandemic has made clear to me, it’s that the most valuable and important thing – to me, anyways – is spending time with people that I love. It doesn’t have to be any specific crazy activity or big event, just time, together. I can’t wait to have more of that with my family this summer.
And I can’t wait to have that WITH YOU soon! I’ve got my first in-person show at the TB Scott Free Library in Merrill, WI on June 21st!
And I’m excited to be back to booking in-person classes and concerts – so email me if you’re interested in a Miss Nina performance at your school or library: email@example.com
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!