By: Charu Bharathi, Madison
• Eric Carle drew as a little boy and has asserted that he “will never stop being a scribbler.”
• Born in Syracuse, NY on June 25th, 1929. His parents
are Erich and Johanna Carle.
• He spent early childhood in America and moved to
Germany at the age of 6.
• He studied at the prestigious Academy of Visual Arts
school called Akademie der bildenden Künste and
Continue (Early Life)
• His father was drafted into the German army during
WWII, taken as a prisoner, and finally returned home
about eight years later.
• Eric Carle was sent to Schwenningen to escape
bombings. There, the government of Germany sent boys
his age to dig trenches. Carle witnessed the death of a few
• Returned to New York in 1952 with only forty dollars to
• Worked as a graphic designer in the promotion
department of The New York Times.
• Also worked as an art director for an advertising agency.
• His first break, which truly began his career struck when Bill Martin Jr. a renowned author and
educator asked him to illustrate a story after
noticing an illustration of a red lobster Carle created for an advertisement.
• His first book was ‘1,2,3, to the zoo’.
• In his writing, Carle says that he attempts to address children’s feelings, thoughts and emotions, as well as inspire their intellectual growth.
Influence on Art
• In 2002, with the assistance of his wife Barbara Carle, he founded The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
dedicated to children’s book art. It is regarded as the first full scale museum devoted to national and international picture book art in the United States.
• One of the reasons of his success, apart from his innovative and unique artwork, is that his readers tend to relate their life and experiences with his stories.
• In 2009 Google paid tribute to Carle and The very hungry Caterpillar by requesting him to design their logo. Currently Carle resides at Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife a son and a daughter.
• He wrote many different types of children’s book to help children learn about the world.
• He has written 100 books and has sold over 88 million copies.
• His most famous work is “The Very Hungry
• He uses the word “very” in his titles. Like these books: “The Very Busy Spider” and “The Very
Lonely Firefly” and more.
• Great Friend to Kids Awards, Association of Children’s Museums, Pittsburgh, PA 2013
• The Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, 2010
• Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Literature Award presented by the IndianapolisMarion County Public Library, 2008
• Japan Picture Book Award, Presented by Mainichi
Newspaper for Lifetime Achievement, 2000
• Outstanding Friend of Children, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, 1999
• “The hardest part is developing the idea, and that can take years.”
• “We have eyes, and we're looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important.” • Carle says: “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?
Helpful Resources &
References: • http://www.ericcarle.com/bio.html
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