This week, in honor of Banned Books Week, we’re sharing some of our favorite banned or challenged children’s and young adult books. Check back every day for a new favorite! Want to share some of your favorites? Check out these lists and share in the comments!
Eric Carle has long been a favorite author/illustrator of mine. Famous for his artistic talents, he prepares his own colored tissue papers, then cuts or tears them into shapes to create collages to illustrate his stories. To watch a video showing this fascinating process, go here.
I have loved Draw Me a Star since the first time I read it, over 20 years ago! In this often challenged book, Carle weaves the story of a young artist who first draws a star. Then the star says to draw a sun; he draws a sun. The sun says to draw a tree; so he draws a tree. Then the tree says draw me a man and a woman; so he draws a man and a woman. This scenario keeps unfolding with each new request for a drawn object, with the artist aging as the story unfolds, until, at the end, after the moon’s request to draw a star, the artist and star travel the night sky together. Carle himself describes two inspirations for the story – his German ‘Oma’ (grandmother) used to draw a star for him while reciting a nonsense poem, and a dream he had about a shooting star landing on him!
The book is often challenged in part because of the depiction of a naked man and woman. It’s not what most parents expect to find in an Eric Carle book. Some people object to the book’s similarity to the biblical creation story. To me, this beautiful story depicts a lifetime of creating art, as the artist ages from young boy to old man. This tale of imagination and creativity may well inspire the artist in you or your child!