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Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle

Mister Seahorse (2004)

by Eric Carle

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This is a fun, colorful story about a father seahorse. Carle uses a very unique tactic to explain to young readers how some father animals are the ones that give birth to their young. While not technically giving birth, the father animal is in charge of taking care of the eggs until they are born. I find it a great educational way to show readers the different sea creatures where the dads carry around the eggs in many different ways. In their mouths, on their bellies, in pouches etc. until they hatch. Carle also uses acetate pages, which camoflauges different creatures. ( )
  jpons | Sep 28, 2014 |
I have mixed feelings about the story, “Mister Seahorse.” Personally, I thought it was boring and did not have much of a plot line. Looking at this book from a child’s perspective, based on the plot, I don’t think students would be that intrigued by it. Since there’s not much of story line, I think children might also be bored. However, on the contrary, I think children may fall in love with this book due to its colorful illustrations. It also contains hide-and-seek overlays that appeal to a child’s sense of sight and curiosity. The pictures of the colorful seahorses and fish are so detailed and attract students’ attention. I think this is a good “daddy” book as well. The book resembles a nurturing role that fathers play with young children. In addition, I also like the main message that this book reveals, the theme of love and comfort, specifically coming from a father figure. ( )
  Ebutzn1 | Sep 11, 2014 |
Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs into Mr. Seahorse's pouch and he carries them with him as he swims about the ocean meeting other father fish incubating eggs as well as gliding peacefully past camouflaged creatures.

Admittedly Mister Seahorses is not my favorite Eric Carle book, but I've still used it more than once in lessons in my toddler classroom (with two different groups of children). Both times, the children were interested enough in the book, especially when it came to seeing what was hiding behind the mostly clear acetate pages. For quite some time, this book was featured in a common area in our school and every time our class walked by, at least one of my students would excitedly say, "Look, seahorse!" while wildly pointing at the cover. So there's that.

As a picture book, Mister Seahorse seems a bit long and dragging to me. Like many picture books, it uses repetition to appeal to young children. It seems to me here though that the repetition is too long - full conversations are repeated rather than simply a phrase or two. There also appear to be two different stories going on here - one is of Mister Seahorse and other male fish who do the primary caregiving for the eggs (notably though after they are hatched, one father says he is now "baby-sitting" the fish, so clearly we haven't entirely dropped stereotypical gender roles in this book). The second storyline is the one of how certain fish are very good at camouflaging themselves behind rocks, seaweed, etc. While the two subplots aren't in direct competition to one another, having them combined in one book makes for a lengthy book and dilutes the message somewhat, in my opinion. It might work well for the older end of young children but for preschool age and younger, the book seems to be a little too much.

As usual, Eric Carle's illustrations are deceptively simple and bring so much energy and color to every page. The acetate pages providing the camouflage for the sea creatures on the following pages are so much fun for kids and adults alike. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jul 13, 2014 |
Reading Level: Primary
Genre: Fiction

Summary: This book is about a male seahorse who has eggs in his pouch. He passes by lots of different ocean animals, all which camouflage into their surroundings. He also passes other animals that are protecting their own eggs and how they carry their eggs differently than him. Then he had his babies and they all swam off to live on their own.
  rdg301library | May 28, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading "Mister Seahorse" very much. This is one of Eric Carle's newest stories, and when I saw it at the bookstore for the first time, I purchased it right away. In my opinion, this is a great book for many different reasons. For example, the illustrations in this story are impeccable. To start, the breathtaking color palette in this book is highly indicative of Carle’s classic style of art. He uses a lot of cool colors (greens, blues) in the background to convey the underwater theme. The characters in the story, however, are created using an array of bright neon colors. For example, the main character, Mr. Seahorse, is a combination of bright blue, green, purple, pink, yellow, and orange. This book also includes an added dimension in terms of illustrations. There are a few see-through pages that contain images of the animals’ habitats, and the animal is located on the page behind the clear paper. For instance, Mr. Seahorse meets “a lionfish hidden behind a coral reef,” and the coral reef is drawn on the transparent paper while the lionfish, barely visible in his camouflaged habitat, is on the following page. The text in this story is incredibly simple, in order to reach the intended audience (kindergarten through second grade), but Eric Carle manages to use few words to tell a beautiful, informational story. For example, he uses descriptive, sensory language to engage readers and delicately teach them about the reproduction of fish: “The time had come for the seahorse babies to be born. Mr. Seahorse wiggled and twisted, this way and that. At last, the babies tumbled from Mr. Seahorse’s pouch and swam away.” Eric Carle offers two big ideas in this story, the first of which is to educate youngsters about underwater creatures. The second big idea is to provide readers with emotional comfort as they explore the theme of the love and dedication a father has for his children. ( )
  kbrash1 | Apr 24, 2014 |
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Mr. and Mrs. Seahorse drifted gently through the sea.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399242694, Hardcover)

Are you ready for a scintillating seahorse fact? The father seahorse is the one who carries the mother's eggs around in his pouch before they hatch. In Mister Seahorse, master collage artist Eric Carle teaches preschoolers this lesson and introduces them to a few other fish who bear the traditionally maternal burden of caring for eggs: the stickleback, tilapia, Kurtus nurseryfish (known here as Mr. Kurtus), pipefish, and bullhead catfish. As ever, it's Carle's art that steals the show. Cut-up tissue paper soaks up the watery paint and makes for a boldly colorful, almost jewel-like undersea journey. The story? Well, repetition is the heart of instruction, after all.

Most of Carle's books employ some sort of gizmo or gadget--and this one is no exception. Here, for a splendid lesson in camouflage, colorful acetate sheets mask marine life that is revealed as the child turns the page. Children may take comfort in the devotion of these undersea fathers...except perhaps at the very end when the father seahorse says to a freshly hatched sea-pony who wants back in the pouch: "I do love you, but now you are ready to be on your own." (Preschool) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:26 -0400)

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After Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs on Mr. Seahorse's belly, he drifts through the water, greeting other fish fathers who are taking care of their eggs.

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Average: (3.88)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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