Eric Carle

by: Cheyenne Clutter

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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 62 languages and sold over 41 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 132 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.

Eric Carle - The Very Hungry Caterpillar - children's book - Waterstone's

  • Eric Carle has a theme to most of his stories, they are typically drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature.
  • All his books are mostly directed to small children
  • He likes to teach them a lesson and hope that they learn things about the world around them.
  • His concern is for children, for their feelings, inquisitiveness, creativity, growth as well as his artwork to make the reading of his books a stimulating and lasting experience for them.
  • Carle states, “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?”

Eric Carle

Complete Book List

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? (Written by Bill Martin Jr, 1976)

1,2,3, to the Zoo 1968

The Very Hungry Caterpillar 1969

Pancakes, Pancakes! 1970

The Tiny Seed 1970

Tales of the Nimipoo (Written by Eleanor B. Hardy. 1970)

The Boastful Fisherman (Written by William Knowlton 1970)

Feathered Ones and Furry (Written by Aileen Fisher 1971)

The Scarecrow Clock (Written by George Mendoza 1971)

Do You Want To Be My Friend? 1971

Rooster's Off to See the World 1972

The Very Long Tail 1972

The Very Long Train 1972

The Secret Birthday Message 1972

Walter the Baker 1972

Do Bears Have Mothers Too? 1973

Have You Seen My Cat? 1973

I See a Song 1973

My Very First Book of Numbers 1974

My Very First Book of Colors 1974

My Very First Book of Shapes 1974

My Very First Book of Words 1974

Why Noah Chose the Dove (Written by Issac Bashevis Singer 1974)

All About Arthur 1974

The Hole in the Dike (Written by Norma Green 1975)

The Mixed-Up Chameleon 1975

Eric Carle's Storybook, Seven Tales by the Brothers Grimm 1976

The Grouchy Ladybug 1977

Watch Out! A Giant 1978

Seven Stories (Written by Hans Christian Anderson 1978)

Twelve Tales from Aesop 1980

The Honeybee and the Robber 1981

Otter Nonsense (Written by Norton Juster 1982)

Catch the Ball! 1982

Let's Pain A Rainbow 1982

What's For Lunch 1982

Chip Has Many (Written by Hans Baumann 1983)

Thank You. Brother Bear 1995

The Very Busy Spider 1984

The Foolish Tortoise (Written by Richard Buckley 1985)

The Greedy Python (Written by Richard Buckley 1985)

The Mountain that Loved a Bird (Written by Alice McLerran 1985)

All Around Us 1986

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me 1986

My Very First Book of Sounds 1986

My Very First Book of Food 1986

My Very First Book of Tools 1986

My Very First Book of Touch 1986

My Very First Book of Motion 1986

My Very First Book of Growth 1986

My Very First Book of Homes 1986

My Very First Book of Heads 1986

All In a Day (Written by Mitsumasa Anno 1986

A House for Hermit Crab 1987

The Lamb and the Butterfly (Written by Arnold Sundgaard 1988)

Eric Carle's Treasury of Classic Stories for Children 1988

Animals Animals 1989

The Very Quiet Cricket 1990

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (Written by Bill Martin Jr 1991)

Dragons Dragons (Compiled by Laura Whipple 1991)

Draw Me A Star 1992

Today Is Monday 1993

Eric Carle: Picture Writer 1993

My Apron 1994

The Very Lonely Firefly 1995

Little Cloud 1996

The Art of Eric Carle 1996

From Head to Toe 1997

Flora and Tiger: 19 very short stories from my life 1997

Hello, Red Fox 1998

You Can Make A Collage: A Very Simple How-to-Book 1998

The Very Clumsy Click Beetle 1999

Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother, Too? 2000

Dream Snow 2000

"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly" said the Sloth 2002

Where Are You Going? To See My Friend 2003

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See (Written by Bill Martin Jr 2003)

Mister Seahorse 2004

10 Little Rubber Ducks 2005

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? 2007

The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse 2011


  • The audience of Eric Carle's books is directed towards young children
  • A list of professional reviews on The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • I think the publics reception of the book is outstanding. These books have been very popular since I was little. I remember reading these as nighttime stories and when I was in elementary school. The popularity is huge and they are very well known all around the world. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been translated in over 62 languages.

Analysis of Author's Craft

  • Bill Martin Jr called Eric and asjed him to illustrate a story he had written. Bill’s eye was struck by a red lobster, but Eric’s creation turned into Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? And that was the result of their collaboration. This is still a favorite in children’s literature everywhere, and the beginning of Eric Carle’s true career.
  • His artwork is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images.
  • A lot of his books have added dimension-die cut pages, and even twinkling lights.
  • Children enjoy working in collage, and many children send them pictures they have created themselves, which have been inspired by his illustrations. He also receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers

Curriculum Connections

  • This is Eric Carle's Official website which offers a ton of different resources and links to explore which will give you really helpful information regarding Eric and his journey through writing these books, a complete list of his books, and so much more.
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Friends by Eric Carle