By Allison Choi, illustrations by Kirsten Malsam | Anthropomorphizing to explain nature need not, indeed should not, be limited to explaining nonhuman animals. Even the elusive chemistry in evaporative cooling can become intuitively understood by children, if only we bring that chemistry alive — as Allison Choi and Kirsten Malstem’s story clearly illustrates.
Beyond Seahorses and Hermit Crabs: Eric Carle’s Biocentric Anthropomorphizing for Fostering Empathy and Care
Review by Leah Harrigan | There’s certainly something special about the works of Eric Carle (1929-2021), the American author and illustrator who left a legacy of more than 70 children’s books celebrated worldwide. The self-described “picture writer”, Carle gifted us his bright, iconic tissue-paper illustrations that have adorned bookshelves since the 1960s. If you’ve read the The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you’ve been acquainted with Eric Carle.
By W. George Scarlett | In E.B. White’s classic children’s book, Charlotte’s Webb, Charlotte, the spider, becomes the kind and smart friend of Wilbur, the pig. Charlotte saves Wilbur from the usual destiny of farm pigs by weaving into her web words praising Wilbur and making him famous among the surrounding humans. But if that were all there was to the story, though it would appeal to many and maybe even cultivate in children empathy for spiders and pigs, it would stop short of teaching about how nature works and stop short of motivating children to show care for nature.