If there was yang to Eric Carle’s yang, then this would be What Comes Darkly Thieves by Ben Rubin. It has a folk tale fable quality to it but with an openness and makes a child ask over and over again, “Why?”
Kindergarteners do have the ability to understand and really enjoy learning big, fancy words. It makes them feel like big kids. It was fun also to see his big sisters chomping at the bit to define “his” words.