English 430: Literature & the Visual Arts

Eric Carle


Eric Carle is an American children’s book author and illustrator. He was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929. He moved to Germany when he was six and later moved to Stuttgart. He went to an art school in Stuttgart. The very first book that he illustrated was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? He illustrated for this book and later began to write and illustrate his own books, such as A Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rooster’s Off to See the World, The Grouchy Ladybug and many more.

His work is very unique. He uses “collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images” (The Official Eric Carle Web Site).

He has written over 70 books in the past 40 years and he is loved by kid and adults all around the world. His work inspires kids to use their imaginations while getting ideas from him and he loves and understands the world of children.

Here are some of my favorite works of Eric Carle.


This is the cover of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? This is the first book that he illustrated for. This book was published i 1967. This book is mainly for toddlers, but this book is also used in Kindergarten classroom to review and read color words as they are associated with various animals.


This book recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. this is one of the first book that Clare wrote and illustrated. It was published in 1969 and this book illustrates a very hungry caterpillar’s yummy journey as it becomes a beautiful butterfly.


This book is also used at my school for kindergartener. In this book, kids look at the animals and follow their movement. It is a simple book t read and to have fun with following different movements, but in this book, Carle pays close attention to the key features of different animals and makes it easier for readers to learn about animals.

*At his website, he shares his work process of this book and I captured the last half of the whole entry, just the process part. If you’d like, you can see the whole post here


2009-10-28 18;15;28


This book is also used at my work, we use this book to teach kidergarteners how to read time. This book is about a grouchy ladybug that wants to pick a fight with different animals at different times.

I found a video of Erc Carle reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It might be a bit loud in the beginning but you can still hear him reading the book.

Here’s a clip of his interview. He discusses the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Catepillar and shows his work process of a catepillar.

Eric Carle has influenced and touched many people regarless of one’s age. His work is timeless and very unique. Since I work with Kindergarteners, I am surrounded by various picture books. Carle’s work always captures my eyes no matter how may times I read his books. His books are filled with lively colors and witty stories. I belive Carle is a unique artist of our time and his love for his work and for chidren are the main sources of his beautiful work.

“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?

I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.” – Eric Carle






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