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Eric Carle

Eric Carle was born of German parents. He was always drawn to America after his family moved to Stuttgart when he was six. Carle’s childhood years in Germany were traumatic; as an adult he would make “books for the child in me, books I had longed for.” It is no surprise that his style is characterised by an explosive use of colour. During the war, his art teacher showed him his hidden collection of banned “degenerate” art, including works by Picasso, Klee and Matisse. At 16, Carle began studying graphic art at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart. Returning to New York in 1952, Carle built a successful career in advertising. In the mid 1960s, Carle decided to give up this career to become an illustrator and graphic designer. His first published work appeared in a cookery book. Soon afterwards, children’s book author Bill Martin asked him to illustrate the manuscript of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? The resulting book was an instant hit. Encouraged by this success, Carle began submitting ideas for his own books. One of these was “Willie The Worm”. His editor suggested that a caterpillar might prove a more endearing character – the rest is history.

First published in 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 29 million copies in more than 47 languages. Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, and more than 88 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

Books by Eric Carle

  • A House for Hermit Crab

    A House for Hermit Crab

  • Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too?

    Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too?

  • Do You Want to Be My Friend?

    Do You Want to Be My Friend?

  • Penguin Young Readers: The Very Lonely Firefly

    Penguin Young Readers: The Very Lonely Firefly

  • Rooster's Off to See the World

    Rooster's Off to See the World

  • The Grouchy Ladybug

    The Grouchy Ladybug

  • The Lamb and the Butterfly

    The Lamb and the Butterfly

  • The Tiny Seed

    The Tiny Seed

  • The Tiny Seed

    The Tiny Seed

  • The Very Busy Spider (Board Book)

    The Very Busy Spider (Board Book)

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Board Book)

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Board Book)

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar Growth Chart

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar Growth Chart

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Little Learning Library

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Little Learning Library

  • Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABC

    Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABC

  • Where is the Very Hungry Caterpillar?

    Where is the Very Hungry Caterpillar?

Awards

Eric Carle has won many book and design awards in both the US and around the world. His most famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar was awarded the American Institute of Graphics Arts Award, the Selection du Grand Prix des Treize in France and a Nakamori Reader’s Prize in Japan. In 2003 Carle was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his lifetime contribution to children’s literature and illustration.