Eric Carle was born in 1929 in Syracuse, New York. At the age of six he moved to Germany with his parents, where he later graduated from The Academy of Visual Arts. In 1952, with only forty dollars in his pocket, Carle moved to New York City where he began working as a graphic designer for The New York Times. Carle was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After his discharge from the service, he returned to work at The New York Times, and later became the art director of an advertising agency for many years. Author Bill Martin Jr. noticed an illustration of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement and asked him to illustrate a story. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the book they had created together and quickly became a best-seller. This began the start of Carle’s career, soon he was writing and illustrating his own stories. His first original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed quickly by the famous; The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Eric Carle married Barbra in 1985 and has two children a son and daughter from a previous marriage. He currently spends his time between his homes in Florida and the hills of North Carolina. In 2002, Carle and his wife Barbara, opened the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts to “inspire a love of art and reading through picture books” (Carle 2002). The museum has collection of more than 10,000 picture book illustrations, art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries. The museum also offers many different types of educational programs. Eric Carle has written and illustrate over seventy books throughout his forty-seven year career and has become a favorite among many children, parents and teachers. Carle’s last book, Friends was written in 2013.
The themes of Eric Carle’s books are usually drawn from his love of nature. Many of his books teach children about nature and friendships, through fun and imaginative stories. Carle’s hand-painted collage technique are distinctive and instantly recognizable. Children love his colorful creations and creative story telling. His original writing style, unique use of paper and added dimensions, give children a new and fun way to read and learn.