Spotlight On: Author and Illustrator Eric Carle

carle photoI feel like I’m not worthy of creating a post on such a legend as Eric Carle, but here I go.  I love Eric Carle!  I remember reading his books as a child, learning all about him throughout college, and using his books as a teacher and mother.  I remember in college watching a video of him creating some of his works.  He was taking small pieces of different colored tissue paper and carefully creating a collage.  When finished, he had a creation that was uniquely his.  One can quickly identify Eric Carle’s work by its vibrant colors and simple-looking illustrations.

Eric Carle was born in the United States, but moved to Germany at age six.  He returned to the U.S. at age twenty-three and worked his way up in the area of graphic design/artistry. He was soon approached to collaborate with Bill Martin Jr. and viola-“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?” was created!  Since then, he has written and/or illustrated more than 70 books, most of which have become best sellers!  One of his most treasured was one of the first that he wrote and illustrated, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Here is a video of Mr. Carle discussing the collaboration between him and Mr. Martin Jr.-Very interesting!

Here is a quote that I found on Mr. Carle’s website that really describes the feeling you get when reading one of his books: Mr. 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.” I think, as a teacher and a parent, this statement is so beautiful and so spot-on to how young children feel.  Mr. Carle also writes many books that teach children about different animals and nature.

Here are a few examples of Eric Carle’s Work:

carle the tiny seedcarle the art of eric carlecarle sloth carle firefly

carle brown bear

  • “The Tiny Seed”  this is a perfect book to use in the Spring
  • “The Art of Eric Carle”  I have to get my hands on this book!!!  I am going to check our library to see if they have a copy.  If not, I don’t know what I’ll do!  Maybe next Christmas…
  • “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth” Who doesn’t love a sloth!?!
  • “The Very Lonely Firefly”  This book is really fun, if you have the hardcover version.  On the last page, the fireflies actually light up!
  • “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?”  One of my all-time favorites!  The possibilities of crafts and activities with young children and this book are endless.  Also, after reading it a few times, a very young child, can read it all by themself! My daughter was able to “read” this by the time she was two!


  • Here is Eric Carle’s official website.  It is awesome!  It has a ton of information, resources, and fun activities and games.  It has a video of Mr. Carle reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”  There are also photographs and videos of him creating his unique style of illustrations with tissue paper.
  • His biography from scholastic is here.
  • I wanted to make my daughter’s next birthday party  “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” theme because she has always loved this book.  I found a ton of things at JoAnn Fabrics that correspond to the book.  They had books that your child can color, toys, and crafts that you can make. Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Spotlight On: Author and Illustrator Eric Carle

  1. i love Eric Carle’s style. I grew up in Peru so wasn’t really familiar with his books until i met my wife. She grew up reading Carle’s books and now my daughter will grow up reading his books too.
    Thanks for sharing -great post!

  2. For my daughter’s fourth birthday party. I made her very hungry caterpillar sandwiches. I made about 20 sandwiches and used a circle cookie cutter and cut the circles out. The circles were the caterpillar’s body. I put the sliced sandwiches standing up so you could see the holes and it looked like the caterpillar had eaten through them. I used a tomato for the head of the caterpillar, put two slices up top and two small slivers of celery for antennae. Two blueberries for eyes and a sliced raisin for a happy face mouth. It turned out really well. Eric Carle is classic!

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