From Head to Toe

From Head to Toe

by Eric Carle


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I can do it! is the confidence-building message of this fun-filled interactive picture book. A variety of familiar animals, depicted in colorful collages, invites young children to copy their antics as they wiggle, stomp, thump, and bend across the strikingly designed pages.

The movements suggested in this book have been chosen carefully to provide healthful exercises for many parts of the body in sequence. And as they play, children will be learning important skills such as listening carefully, focusing attention, understanding the spoken word, following instructions, and accepting a challenge, as well as being able to move their bodies in a controlled manner.

Laughter and squeals of delight will abound as boys and girls ( and their elders, too!) participate in the action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064435963
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/22/1999
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 28,594
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.07(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Eric Carle is the creator of more than seventy picture books for young readers.

Eric Carle was born in New York, USA. However, when he was just six, he moved with his parents to Germany. In 1952, after graduating from the prestigious Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, he fulfilled his dream of returning to New York.

Eric Carle has received many distinguished awards and honours for his work, including, in 2003, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his lifetime contribution to children's literature and illustration.

In 2002, fifty years after Carle's return to the United States, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art was opened in Amherst, Massachusetts. Here visitors of all ages can enjoy, in addition to Eric Carle's work, original artwork by other distinguished children's book illustrators from around the world.

Eric Carle is the creator of more than seventy picture books for young readers.

Eric Carle was born in New York, USA. However, when he was just six, he moved with his parents to Germany. In 1952, after graduating from the prestigious Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, he fulfilled his dream of returning to New York.

Eric Carle has received many distinguished awards and honours for his work, including, in 2003, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his lifetime contribution to children's literature and illustration.

In 2002, fifty years after Carle's return to the United States, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art was opened in Amherst, Massachusetts. Here visitors of all ages can enjoy, in addition to Eric Carle's work, original artwork by other distinguished children's book illustrators from around the world.


Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires

Date of Birth:

June 25, 1929

Place of Birth:

Syracuse, New York


Akademie der bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, 1946-50


On Thursday, July 17th, welcomed Eric Carle, author of FROM HEAD TO TOE.

Moderator: Welcome, Mr. Carle! We're so glad you could join us tonight in the Live Events Auditorium! Is this your first live event online?

William Bosky from Boca Raton, FL: How long did the artwork take to do for FROM HEAD TO TOE?

Eric Carle: The artwork took perhaps two or three weeks, but the preliminary work, the sketches, took months -- a couple of years.

Roger from Oregon: What other illustrators' work are you impressed by? Are you friends with any of them?

Eric Carle: The other picture book artists that I like are Maurice Sendak, Leo Leonni, Jose Aruego, Lisbeth Zwerger, Mitsumasa Anno, Ezra Keats...these are the first who come to my mind. I know them, but I am not close friends with them.

Winston Hadley from Virginia: Do you get your art supplies from any particular source, or are they just standard art store things? How about the tissue paper?

Eric Carle: I've been using the tissue papers for a long time, and I am always looking for the "perfect" tissue papers. Lately, I've been using tissue papers from Kate's Paperie in SoHo. All the other art materials I just buy from an art store around the corner from where I work. My art materials are very simple materials, really. Acrylic paints, brushes, tissue papers, and wallpaper glue, which I mix with a little bit of Elmer's Glue, for pasting down the colored tissue papers to make a collage.

Quentin from Jasper, WY: Hello, Mr. Carle! I love your books. What happens to the artwork after you are done with a book? The originals, I mean. And is it hard to work with tissue paper? It must take patience not to tear it.

Eric Carle: The artwork belongs to me. After the publisher has used my illustrations to make the books, they are returned to me. To make collages from the tissue papers is a matter of practice, and after a while it is very easy to do that.

Rory from Florida: Hey Eric, it is great to talk to one of the most popular children's authors ever. I have three questions for you 1) I am planning to write a book of commentaries soon (I am going into the 8th grade at the end of August and thought that December would be the perfect time to start). When I start this book, should I think of what commentaries I want to write? Do some research? What should I do? 2) How do you overcome writer's block? 3) How much time do you spend writing and illustrating? 4) Before this next question, I just want to say that my little sister loved THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR. How do you bring all these wonderful characters to life? Did you just draw them on paper and figure that they were perfect for a story?

Eric Carle: Yes, think about the commentaries, and yes, do research. It is important to ask the right questions when you interview people. From my experience, I have found some interviewers to be better than others, and if the interviewer is good, then I can give good answers. To overcome writer's block First, I suffer through it, then I clean up my studio, sharpen my pencils, procrastinate a little more, and then sit down and do my work. Number 3 is hard to answer. I think a lot about my work, and about writing, but that doesn't mean I sit at my desk and write all the time. Actually, THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR started out this way I had a stack of papers, and with a hole-puncher punched holes in that stack of papers. When I looked at the holes, I thought about a bookworm. The bookworm I changed into a green worm, and then the green worm was finally changed into a caterpillar. That's how THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR started.

Theresa Robertson from Newton, MA: Eric, I just wanted to say thank you for giving me and my children such wonderful books to read together. We are big fans. Thank you!

Eric Carle: Thank you!

Deirdre from Bronxville, NY: What was it like living in Stuttgart? I hear it is a beautiful city -- have you been back recently? Why does Massachusetts suit you?

Eric Carle: Stuttgart is a very beautiful city. But there are many aspects to having lived there, both joyful and sad. The sad part has to do with the war, and the bombing; the joyful part has to do with my friends and relatives. Yes, I visit Stuttgart every so often. My sister, who is 21 years younger than I am, and to whom I've dedicated THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR, still lives in the Stuttgart area with her family. Well, Massachusetts reminds me of the Stuttgart area. The hills and valleys are similar. I could never live in an area that is totally flat.

Lesley from New York: Do you ever visit schools and talk to the students about being an author/illustrator? If so, what do you like most about school visits? Do you ever visit schools in New York City?

Eric Carle: I visited schools for the first 25 years of my career as a children's book author, and very much enjoyed doing that. But on my 60th birthday, I gave myself the gift of not traveling so much anymore. Also, it is very important for me to stay in my studio as much as possible and do my work, because I still have so many ideas to work on.

Harold Rolpf from Los Angeles, CA: Your forthcoming book is being billed as "stories from your life." What can we expect to read about, and is this book for children?

Eric Carle: The idea for FLORA AND TIGER began several years ago because a number of teachers and children have asked me if I would write a book for older children. One child asked me, would I ever write a "real" book? Another child asked if I would write a book for parents. I am not so sure about the age group for this book. I can imagine it being read to young children, but also to be enjoyed by teens, and anyone -- teachers, parents, librarians -- who are interested in my work and my life. It is not an autobiography, but this book will give you autobiographical glimpses into my life. FLORA AND TIGER deals with three subjects dear to my heart. Animals and insects, friends and relatives, and myself.

Dr. Harris's Class from Lubbock, TX: Where is this being broadcast from? We are watching this during our Children's Lit graduate class.

Eric Carle: Hello, friends in Lubbock, Texas! I was just signing books in Texas not too long ago, and you are a bunch of wonderful people. This interview is being conducted in my studio.

Rachel Sherman, five years old, from Baltimore, MD: I love your books, especially MY APRON. What will your next book be about?

Eric Carle: And to continue from my last answer This live chat format is a first for me! Now to RachelSee the answer above!

Georgette from Hackensack, NJ: Do you have any children of your own? Are your books dedicated to anyone in particular? Thank you for answering.

Eric Carle: Yes, I have children of my own. I have a daughter, her name is Cirsten, and I have a son whose name is Rolf. Both are adults now. Your question about the dedications is interesting. Of course, each book is dedicated to a person that I care for, respect, and love. Sometimes I like to give a speech, or write a book, in which I would explain my relationship with these people, these friends or relatives I've dedicated a book to. Georgette, I love your question about the dedications. I've had so many wonderful people in my life who've influenced and nurtured me. Incidentally, I often (but not always) insert the letters "R" and "C" in one of the illustrations of the book. You have to search for them. "C" of course stands for Cirsten, and "R" for Rolf. You can see they are very important to me.

Dawn from Houston, TX: Eric, do you use live models to do your sketches, or do you do them from memory?

Eric Carle: I use some from my memory, some I sketch from life, and some I look up in books.

Alexander Lehnen from New York City: Just great to see you on the Internet DIE RAUPE NIMMERSATT was my favorite book when I was little. I never knew you lived in the U.S. in the first place until I started working at Barnes & Noble and put all your books on the Internet site. -- Good luck to you -- Alex

Eric Carle: Thank you!

George from Mom's computer at work: Hello. Are there days that you just paint and paint and paint, with no one book that you are painting for? Just for fun?

Eric Carle: When I don't illustrate a book, then I paint my colorful tissue papers.

Dawn from Houston, TX: Hi, Eric! One more question. What or who inspired FROM HEAD TO TOE? I can see how this, as well as so many of your other books, can be used in middle school classrooms. You are truly an inspiration for us all!!

Eric Carle: Inspiration comes from many sources. Sometimes inspiration just sneaks up on you.

Dr. Harris's Class from Lubbock, TX: What was the most difficult book for you to write and/or illustrate, and why?

Eric Carle: Dallas and Longview. The beginning of DRAGONS DRAGONS was difficult. In fact I almost despaired. I called up my editor and told her I was unable to illustrate this book. Fortunately she was not in to take the call, because by the time she came back two days later I had changed my mind and enthusiastically began working on this book.

Amy from New York City: Have you ever been tempted to write adult books? What is it about the vision of children that makes writing books for them so pleasurable?

Eric Carle: I was born in the United States, where I began my first-grade education. Then my parents and I moved to Germany, where I started a second round of an education. I was unaware of it, but today I am aware that it was a difficult time period in my life. I believe that with my books I am dealing with that time all over again. I believe that the transition from preschool to first grade is a difficult time for children, and I went through this process twice within a very short time. Helping children make this transition is my motivation. And I am gratified that children have embraced my books.

Laura Dine from Washington: I am an artist myself, and I admire your work very much. Do you ever find it difficult to make representations of people? I can do animals and objects, but have such a hard time with people -- can you give me advice?

Eric Carle: Dear Laura, I have the same problem that you do! Animals are easier for me. However, in FROM HEAD TO TOE, I think I've been pretty successful with my people as well as the animals. In fact, it is a very successful combination.

Alexandra S. from Baltimore, MD: What pets do you have? What is your favorite animal that you have written about? Would you ever want to write about an American Eskimo dog?

Eric Carle: Right now, I don't have any pets, but most of my life there have been cats, and a dog. I did have a Samoyed dog, which is what I think you mean by Eskimo dog. So far, I haven't thought about writing about an Eskimo dog.

Frederika from New York: Where is the beautiful garden where you find the caterpillars, fireflies, and crickets that you write about? You must live near the ocean, too!-)

Eric Carle: The beautiful garden is in my head.

Barbara from Harwinton, CT: Do you have a web page where the ways teachers have used your books with their classes are listed?

Eric Carle: Yes! There is a bulletin board called "Caterpillar Exchange" where teachers, parents, and librarians can share ideas about how to use my books.

Dawn from Houston, TX: Eric, when will you be back in Houston again? Several of us in the Children's Lit class at the University of Houston-Clear Lake are anxious to see you.

Eric Carle: I don't have any plans right now. You seem to be a lively bunch! Thanks a bunch!

Moderator: Thanks so much for joining us tonight, Mr. Carle, and for responding so thoughtfully to so many questions! Best wishes and good night!

Eric Carle: I very much enjoyed being part of this chat. Good night!

Customer Reviews

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From Head to Toe 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
mrserika More than 1 year ago
My three year old daughter loved this book from the first time! We were in the bookstore and I picked out a few books to read to her so she could choose a couple. She was immediately engaged and started acting out the movements and saying, "I can do it!" I love Eric Carle books, they are so fun to read, educational, and the pictures are colorful. You can't go wrong in adding this to your home collection. Just one small caveat, this is not a very good bedtime book as it will have your child stomping on top of their bed! A lot of fun to read, but it will rile them up, not calm them down!
alyssabuzbee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great little book to encourage movement and physical fitness in the youngest children.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this book, various animals and children move parts of their body and encourage other children to do so.Eric Carle is truly a master of this kind of text. Each spread follows the same repetitive structure - "I'm a $ANIMAL and I can $VERB my $BODYPART - can you? I can do it!" - which makes it very suitable both for young children learning to speak and older children figuring out how to read.This book is also, obviously good to encourage kids to move during a rainy-day storytime, or to let them move if they always are fidgeting during storytime.
burningtodd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an alright book. I understand that it is for teaching children different animals as well as body parts and movement, but it just does not seem to get my son's attention the way that Mr. Carle's other books do. Still it is better than a lot of the other board books out there, I just want more.
mdrumgold on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Can you move with me? Move along with these animals. Good book to have students wiggle their little bodies. I would enjoy reading this book with my students.
lekenned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This would be a great book to teach young children about body parts and body movement!
cmesa1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book goes throught the animales and their body parts and the different movements that the animals can do . I like it a lot because each page asks the students if they can do that movement so they start making it . They fell part of the story and besides the pictures really get their attention.
krf76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I gave this book 5 stars because it is typical Eric Carle and the pictures are awesome and the story is simple. I had several Eric Carle books when I was younger and thought I had seen them all but I was wrong. I really liked it. It would be wonderful for group time and getting the kids engaged in the gross motor aspect of the day. It would also be good for teaching body parts.
kelsimcnab on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is about how humans and animals and the things they can do the same. This is a great book used to compare humans to animals.
Rita6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The pictures in this book were very beautiful; the art work was fun as well. The story is very repetitive, it would be a great book for beginner readers, and student would be able to participate in the book as well. This book would also be a wonderful way to introduce children to different animals.
ahernandez91 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book when comparing some of the things that both animals and humans can do! It is a beginner book and would be great when teaching what different parts of the boy can do! The students can be invited to actively participate in the book by trying the different things that the girls and boys do in the story. Eric Carle makes it very hard to dislike any of his books! Again, another FABULOUS book!! This books allows for the reader to interact with the characters.
AnneDenney on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We do our nightly gymnastics following this book. "Are you ready? Here we go. Move yourself from head to toe."
chelsiking on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Allows readers to learn various movements of different animals & gets them to get up, & move around! A very fun book with great illustrations!
arielaver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantastic group read aloud. The pattern predictable nature of the text makes it perfect for emerging readers, as does the bright and brilliant illustrations.
xubibliobug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From Head to Toe is a picture book by Eric Carle. Graphic-media-applied illustrations, rhythmical text and playful games make the book full of fun, vitality and motivation. A variety of animals are introduced with their typical body movements. For example, a giraffe bends its neck; a monkey waves its arms; and a gorilla thumps its chest. Also, these animals challenge children to do the same. Bearing striking resemblance, the children imitate the animals¿ antics: They turn their head, arch their back, and wiggle their toes¿. They move their body from head to toe. Certainly, the room will be filled with children¿s laughter and delight when they do these fun-filled body movements.
jscheper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a concept book about parts of the body and movement. An animal compares itself to a human. " I am a giraffe and I bend my neck. Can you do it?" "I can do it!" (repsonds a boy). This is a great book to teach children about the different parts of the body and can get physical by copying the movement. Children can become part of the action of the story. A great read aloud for toddlers.This is an Eric Carle books with delightful Eric Carle illustrations.
JessicaHill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Children gain the confidence that they can do anything they want to do when they are read this book. They will learn the importance of paying attention, listing carefully, and following instuctions. Children also are given the opportuntiy to practice body movements becuase From Head to Toe is a book that teaches children different parts of the body and the movements of each part.
RubyP on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book about movement and interaction with children. Its a good way for kids to get involved with the story from the book and follow directions. It makes the reading fun. Because of this I liked this book. It was my first time reading it and I can only imagine reading it to a group of toddlers! It would be so much funny experience.
hebeaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very easy book with classic Eric Carle illustrations, this is a book younger children will love. It discusses movements of various types of animals that children can also do. This would be great for an interactive lesson about animals. It is also good because children could practice doing the movements while the story is read.
ebruno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book shows how animals and humans are alike. It involves interaction from children by asking them, "Can you do it?" The kids love these kinds of books, and I do too.
slovepb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great for actions - need to skip the 'donkey's kick' page with a class.
jessthebest99 More than 1 year ago
This a great book although it is very short and doesn't have a lot words it tells a fun story. It is easy to catch on in the story because the whole story line is the characters doing exactly what the animals ask the children to do. I would recommend this to very little kids because there isn't much to the book and it is very simple. It also has big pictures and very bit of writing so it is fun for younger children.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
Ever since we came across "Brown Bear" we've become huge fans of Eric Carle's wonderful and deceptively simple illustrated children's books. Now we are well on our way to owning all of his works, and would certainly recommend these educational and quirky books to all parents. However, it's also clear that none of his other books have lived up to the charm of "Brown Bear." This is certainly true of "From Head to Toe." There is no attempt at rhyming in here whatsoever, and reading can feel a bit drab and repetitive as a consequence. Nonetheless, this is still a pretty good children's board book in its own right.  The book is ideally suited for older toddlers (three or four year olds would be my best estimate), but younger and older kids will certainly enjoy it as well. Through a series of parallel and complementary pictures and actions by humans and their animal friends children can easily learn about parts of the body. It's a very carefree and fun educational book, and it has a lot going for it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great book. My son loves it. We act out almost every animal in it.
Fit-Jen More than 1 year ago
This is another Eric Carle classic! Amazing illustrations! I use this book with my own children and students to get them moving...its a great, active book.