Ernst, a blue crocodile with a big imagination, loves riding the carousel in the park. His favorite carousel figure is the honey-colored dog. Ernst especially likes how the dog's loose tail wags. Unfortunately for Ernst, the carousel keeper must put away the figures for safekeeping during the winter months. As he is walking home, he notices the dog's tail laying on the ground. The carousel keeper asks Ernst to keep it until spring since the figures have already been put away. While at home, Ernst remakes the tail into a bird and uses his imagination to have great adventures with the bird.
I love the digital age, but one of my concerns is how I observe children not being able to play without the aid of something electronic. Elisa Kleven's (check out her website!) A Carousel Tale gives us a character who easily uses his imagination to play independently, and with others, without being plugged in. Kleven's illustrations are full of brilliant colors and patterns that bring Ernst's thoughts alive. Preschoolers and kindergartners will enjoy A Carousel Tale and could use this book to work on sequence and problem/solution.
My favorite carousel is the Pullen Park Carousel in Raleigh, North Carolina. This carousel dates back to 1900. Add a lime green snow cone and you have a great afternoon.