Eric Carle - Author Picture

Eric Carle - Author

Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 50 languages and sold over 33 million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 110 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Künste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin’s eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle’s true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle’s art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension—die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket’s song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers.

The secret of Eric Carle’s books’ appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature—an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: “With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will they be friendly?

I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.”

Eric Carle has two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. With his wife Barbara, he divides his time between the Florida Keys and the hills of North Carolina.

Click here for a list of Awards Eric Carle has won for his work

(If you are interested in more complete biography of Eric, please refer to the autobiography section of The Art of Eric Carle published by Philomel Books.)

Featured Books, with extracts, by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABC
Eric Carle
July 2015 Book of the Month Explore the amazing animal alphabet with the very hungry caterpillar in this delightful board book. Featuring Eric Carle's bright, distinctive artwork and lots of favourite animals, big and small. A recent survey from The...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Format: Board book | Released 02/07/2015 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

What's Your Favourite Animal?
Eric Carle
March 2015 Book of the Month Eric Carle, the world-famous creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, loves animals – especially cats. His cat Fiffi is the first favourite animal followed by Peter McCarty's great big Bunny and Rosemary Wells rather...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Format: Paperback | Released 05/03/2015 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Pop-Up Playmat
Eric Carle
This gorgeous pop-up playmat version of a much-loved classic, first published in 1969, includes three colourful sections - set in the garden, in the sky and under the sea - feature Eric Carle's beautiful collage artwork with exciting touch-and-feel textures...
Lovereading Price: £7.19 - Saving £1.80 (20%) Format: Board book | Released 05/03/2015 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Friends
Eric Carle
Best-selling author Eric Carle whose The Very Hungry Caterpillar has entertained generations of children has created a wonderful story about friendship. When a little boy finds that he is all alone – his best friend and constant companion has gone...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Format: Paperback | Released 05/03/2015 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
This is a much-loved classic but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969! The vivid and colourful illustrations and cut back and die-cut pages, together...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Format: Mixed media product | Released 02/10/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
One of our Books of the Year 2014 A soft cloth book with bright, colourful pictures that can make snuggle-time extra special. This is a much-loved classic but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969! The...
Lovereading Price: £8.79 - Saving £2.20 (20%) Format: Rag book | Released 05/06/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Doodle Book
Eric Carle
2014 is the Very Hungry Caterpillar's 45th anniversary. A wonderful doodle book with pages of creative fun with all of Eric Carle's artwork including of course the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Format: Paperback | Released 06/03/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: a Pull-out Pop-up
Eric Carle
A bright and beautiful pull-out, pop-up edition of the classic picture book which follows the Very Hungry Caterpillar's journey from tiny caterpillar to butterfly illustrated with Eric Carle's distinctive, colourful pictures. It is based on the classic picture book. This...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Format: Hardback | Released 06/03/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

What's Your Favourite Animal?
Eric Carle
Eric Carle, the world-famous creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, loves animals – especially cats. His cat Fiffi is the first favourite animal followed by Peter McCarty's great big Bunny and Rosemary Wells rather small dog! Lane Smith's favourite is...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Format: Hardback | Released 06/02/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Friends
Eric Carle
Best-selling author Eric Carle whose The Very Hungry Caterpillar has entertained generations of children has created a wonderful story about friendship. When a little boy finds that he is all alone – his best friend and constant companion has gone...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Format: Hardback | Released 19/11/2013 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Touch and Feel Playbook
Eric Carle
A Touch and Feel version of this is a much-loved classic, first published in 1969, is perfect for older babies and toddlers. It features concepts such as colours, numbers, shapes and first words that are introduced through textures, words and...
Lovereading Price: £7.19 - Saving £1.80 (20%) Format: Board book | Released 07/03/2013 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Bad-Tempered Ladybird
Eric Carle
A classic picture book in a robust board book format. The bad-tempered ladybird is too mean to share. Instead, it picks a fight with every creature it meets – even if it is a big as a rhinoceros! The journey,...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Format: Board book | Released 07/06/2012 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Sound Book
Eric Carle
March 2012 Book of the Month. This is a much-loved classic, but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969. Now available in this sound-book format so you can actually listen to the Very Hungry Caterpillar as he...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Format: Hardback | Released 01/03/2012 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
Eric Carle
Best-selling Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, brings his brilliant use of colour to the fore in these bold illustrations of brightly coloured animals. Carle's blue horse, orange elephant, purple fox and the rest are a tangible...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Format: Hardback | Released 04/10/2011 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
This is a much-loved classic but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969! The vivid and colourful illustrations and cut back and die-cut pages, together with some very simple text, provide a wonderful story that is...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Format: Paperback | Released 28/11/2002 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Board Book)
Eric Carle
A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection. This is a much-loved classic, but as relevant today as it was when first published in 1969! Now available in this board-book format, its vivid and colourful illustrations and cut...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Format: Hardback | Released 29/09/1994 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

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