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Ernst, the imaginative young crocodile from ERNST and THE PUDDLE PAIL,  is back for a third adventure. When his favorite carousel dog loses his tail, Ernst is given the important job of taking care of it over the winter. Creative as ever, Ernst manages both to transform  the tail into a beautiful, happy new pal and to please his old friend the dog, when spring returns.

A Junior Library Guild Selection


“Ernst, the endearing blue crocodile reappears in this joyous, childlike tale that celebrates the power of the creative imagination to transform the broken into something new, wonderful and whole.... Will Ernst be willing to Transform his precious bird back into the dog’s tail? An ingeniously happy solution, in perfect harmony with the joyful creativity of this charming tale, saves the day. Kleven’s playful, light-infused collages sing and dance on the 
pages like the carousel in springtime.”
--starred, Kirkus


“Kleven designs a feast for the eyes... Once again [she]allows Ernst to connect to his inner world and build his creativity and independence. In the elephant carousel keeper, he even finds an adult who appreciates and nurtures his artistic spirit. Their delightful story and friendship will encourage children to develop their own imaginative passions and remind adults to let these inventions soar.” 
-- ForeWord reviews


“Crocodile brothers Ernst and Sol return in their third adventure, set against a painterly landscape of lively animals and sumptuous colors.... The vibrant, organic art--mixed media collage with watercolors and pastels--sets the stage for a tender, animate space. Every object, from the tail-turned-bird to a paintbrush resting in a cup of water, emanates warmth and individuality.” 
--Publishers Weekly


“ The star of Ernst and The Puddle Pail returns in another charming adventure.... Kleven’s dreamy mixed- media collages add depth to this gentle tale of creativity and resourcefulness. The author effectively depicts the interplay between Ernst’s gentle introversion and his brother’s grouchy pragmatism, with Ernst’s creative vision winning out in the end. A good conversation starter on the nature of art and the art of nature.”
--School Library Journal


“The clear, colorfully detailed, collage pictures celebrate the transforming power of art.”
-- Booklist


“A CAROUSEL TALE offers a reflection on responsibility, creativity, and love... Kleven’s illustrations reveal a world in which creativity is a powerful force...Although A CAROUSEL TALE depicts animals in slightly dreamy settings, the story addresses real emotions. Its ending honors Ernst’s capacity for both imagination and love.”
-- Junior Library Guild


“Kleven’s simple plot is imaginative and child-centered. The fluid text is fresh and satisfying to read aloud...Kleven’s intricate and richly colored mixed collage illustrations are stunning in their dreamy ornateness. ..strong, careful compositions keep the riot of color from overwhelming the eye. Creative kids who love to make stuff out of other stuff will adore this, and even those who normally don’t may find that it inspires their dormant artistic muse.” 
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Tricycle Press, March, 2009


From Elisa:

Like Ernst, I also like to make miniature carousels -- carved from wood, assembled from pie pans, pencils and other found objects, and painted on eggs.  

Read Julie Danielson’s feature article on A Carousel Tale here

To read more about Ernst and the tale of his beloved dog’s tail, please click here.

Ernst plush toy, by toymaker Kathe Kruse, available through The Play Store

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