Age Range 2 to 6
From Head to Toe is a great book to get children moving and it’s one of my favourite Eric Carle books to use in the classroom. Children love to join in with the actions and it’s an especially good book to use with non native English speaking children.
The Story: Each animal introduces itself and then does an action. The animal asks if the child on the page can do it and the child copies the animal before saying yes. The final picture shows a child doing an action and a parrot repeating it.
Using a minimum amount of text and lots of repetition From Head to Toe introduces children to different body parts and animals, predominantly zoo animals. Starting with a penguin who can turn his head the child can repeat the actions ‘From Head to Toe’ (in the final picture the child is wiggling his toe). The first actions are gentler but by the end you are wriggling your hips and kicking your legs. The children come from a range of ethnic backgrounds and Eric Carle’s beautiful, bold trademark illustrations show each animal and child on a white background.
From Head to Toe is a really versatile book to use in the classroom. It’s a good book to use as an ice breaker especially with non native English speakers who will easily be able to understand the actions shown in the pictures. I have used From Head to Toe in PE lessons and it’s a great book to pull off the shelf if you want to get a class of children moving for ten minutes. After reading the book children can choose their own actions and animals and draw pictures which can be used for a wall display or class book. I’ve also recreated the story as a wall display, the children painted big animals or parts of the body on sheets of A3 paper and we sequenced the story together before putting it in the wall. The repetition in From Head to Toe also makes this a good book for beginner readers.
From Head to Toe is one of our favourite Eric Carle books as it gets us moving, it’s not one we read at bedtime!
Author / Illustrator: Eric Carle