Ethan Long

  • Up! Tall! and High!
  • Publisher: Penguin/Putnam                                               Pub date: 2012
  • Intended for: Ages 4+
  • Clara and Clem Take a Ride
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers                                                Pub date: 2012
  • Intended for: Ages 5+
  • Perfect for: Both books are perfect for the intended audience as well as people who love imagination, entertaining artwork, and funny stories.

Ethan Long covers

This post was originally just going to be about Up! Tall! and High! but then I came across Clara and Clem Take a Ride while browsing at a local library. After reading Clara and Clem, I thought it would be better to just feature Ethan Long because HOLY COW is this guy talented.

He just GETS kids and from reading a number of his books it feels like he knows intrinsically what they would find interesting.

For instance, Clara and Clem Take a Ride is an adventure in imagination. Clara spots some blocks in the shape of a car, and from there, their imaginations soar as the two kids drive, meet some interesting characters, end up in a tree, get carried off by an eagle, and have a roller coaster-esque ride down a mountain.

Clara and Clem interior 1

Clara and Clem interior 2

But it’s not just the creative adventure that’s so great for readers, it’s also his language and rhymes. The words he chose are so perfect for a level one early reader.

It’s also worth mentioning that the text is in fun speech balloons and the text is nice and big. In fact, every single aspect of this book works well for young readers and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Clara and Clem interior 3

As for Up! Tall! and High!, the bright, colorful cover drew me in to this book from across the room when I was browsing at, yup, a library (what can I say—libraries are a wonder for browsing).

The birds in the story are silly and beautiful and just scream FUN to a child.

Up Tall interior 1

This book is made up of three stories and they are all just right for early readers as they learn the concepts of “up,” “tall,” and “high,” as well as “opposites.” The book contains gatefolds that pull up and down to further dramatize the concepts, to wonderful effect. Any young child would love to play along with these birds.

Up Tall interior 2

The artist has many other published books (he’s quite prolific, to the advantage of young readers) and even has a few animated television shows in the works based on characters from his books. If you have a few minutes for something ridiculously cute (with some fun accents), check out some of Long’s work in action. This video is from Tasty Time with ZeFronk, a show that airs on Disney Channel.

Do you have a favorite Ethan Long book?

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