STARRED REVIEW ** The Blaue Reiter painter Franz Marc had his art banned by the Nazis, after he died at 36 in WWI. In his first book in more than four years, Carle does not tell Marc’s story; he simply assumes his persona. “I am an artist,” a mop-headed man says, “and I paint… [the page turns] “a blue horse and… [another page turns] a red crocodile and…” and the series continues, each animal dominating its spread. While Carle’s creatures are constructed from his familiar, brilliantly colored painted-paper shapes, it is the strength and sinew of their forms that impresses—not coincidentally, the quality that distinguishes Marc’s originals (two are reprinted on the final pages). As the book progresses, the colors of the animals stray farther and farther from reality (there’s a purple fox and a polka-dot donkey), all but daring readers to think outside the box. “I am a good artist,” the man declares in closing, expressing the satisfaction that comes from using one’s creative powers to the fullest. An homage to Marc becomes testimony to Carle’s gifts, too. A short afterword about Marc’s life is included. Ages 3-5. (Oct.)

– Publisher’s Weekly, August 8, 2011