Eric Carle

Eric Carle was an American-born author and illustrator noted for his picture books for children. Eric was born on June 25, 1929, in Syracuse, New York.

His parents were born and raised in Germany and the family moved back there when Eric was six years old. Eric wished to return to the United States, and after the Second World War and completing an education at a German art school, he moved to New York City with only $40 in his pocket.

He began a job as a graphic designer in the promotions department at the noted newspaper The New York Times. After a period in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Eric returned to New York City and eventually worked for an advertising agency.

In the mid-1960s, educator and author Bill Martin Jr. noticed a red lobster Eric had created for a magazine advertisement. He then asked Erik to collaborate with him on the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? After that book became a bestseller in 1967, Eric began writing and illustrating his own stories. His first famous work is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle’s art has a very unique and recognizable style. His artwork was created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers that he cut and layered to form colorful joyful images.

Many of his books are also interactive, using die-cuts to pop out and play with, twinkling lights in The Very Lonely Firefly, and sounds such as the cricket's song in The Very Quiet Cricket.

Eric Carle has illustrated more than 70 books, most of which he also wrote. His books have been translated into more than 62 languages and have sold over 41 million copies.

By the early 1990s, Eric and his wife Barbara “Bobbie” Morrison, an early childhood educator, moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. In 2002 they founded the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. It displays original illustrations from many children’s books, both Erik's and other authors, and has an art room for children and a giant caterpillar for fun photos and videos. The museum was founded to encourage a love of art and promote the joy of reading.

Eric Carle passed away in May 2021 a month before his 92nd birthday.

Eric Carle Website


Eric Carle's Blog (Now Archived)

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art