Emily Byrd
Tara Riley
Krista Byrne
Angela Buragilo
Eric Carle
• “Let's put it this way: if
you are a novelist, I think
you start out with a 20
word idea, and you work
at it and you wind up
with a 200,000 word
novel. We, picture-book
people, or at least I, start
out with 200,000 words
and I reduce it to 20.”
– Eric Carle
Interesting Facts
• He does not use computers to make the actual book.
• He tries to honor his father’s and recapture the
happy memories with him by writing about small living
• Eric Carle’s favorite book of the one’s he has written
is: Do You Want to be My Friend?
• He does not have a favorite color he loves them all
and likes combination of colors better then an
individual color.
• He wanted to be a forester when he was younger.
• Early 1970’s he started growing his beard while in the
hospital for two broken vertebrae.
• He speaks English and German.
Eric Carle was born in Syracuse,
New York on 1929 and lived there
until 1935. He remembers his life
there to be a happy time, filled with
lots of drawings.
Just after Carle started first
grade, his family moved to
Stuttgart, Germany, his father's
original home. Carle grew up in
Hitler's Germany as they were
preparing for war.
He attended very strict schooling,
but he received encouragement from
a teacher who praised his drawings
in class. Through his artwork, he
quickly adapted and made friends.
When war came in 1939, Carle’s
world was changed. His father was
gone for over eight years, fighting
the war as a member of the German
army and consequently held as a
POW. He and his family spent many
nights in an air-raid shelter.
Even during wartime, Carle found
ways to learn about art. His
teachers saw potential in him, and
taught him about the “risky” forms
of art (like abstract) that the Nazi’s
didn’t approve of. His high school art
teacher, Herr Krauss, influenced him
In 1947 Carle’s father returned, and
Carle was enrolled in the fine arts
academy, designing posters for the
American information center in
In 1952 Carle felt confident enough
about his work to take his portfolio
to the United States, but was
drafted for war and taken back to
Stuttgart. It was during this time
he met his first wife.
When discharged from war, the
couple moved back to New York and
had two children.
Life of Eric Carle
In 1963 Carle quit his full-time job
and began working as a freelance
artist. He says, “I had come to the
conclusion that I didn't want to sit
in meetings, write memos, entertain
clients, and catch commuter trains. I
simply wanted to create pictures.”
In 1964 Carle and his wife split, and
he met Bill Martin, who asked him to
do illustrations for the children’s
books he had written.
After working alongside Bill Martin,
Carle met Ann Beneduce who helped
him create and publish his first two
books: 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo (1968) and
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969).
The Very Hungry Caterpillar became
an immediate best seller, and won
several awards. Today millions of
copies have been sold, and it has
been translated into 30 different
Events of Eric Carle
In 1977 Carle introduced another new
invention in his book The Grouchy
Ladybug: the pages grow in size as
larger and larger animals appear on
Carle is well known for his “very” series
of books, as well has his books that
deal with numbers letters, the
alphabet and other activities for young
children. Some of these books include:
The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Busy
Spider, The Very Lonely Firefly and My
Very First Book.
Carle has written many poems for
young children, and produced many
stand-alone titles that are educational
yet fun for younger readers. Today Is
Monday, Books for Keeps, and Little
Cloud encourage close observation to
shapes and changes.
In the years that follow Carle used his
childhood in Germany to create several
other books including his award-winning
Draw Me a Star, his autobiographical
My Apron: A Story from My Childhood,
and Flora and Tiger: Nineteen Very
Short Stories from My Life, which
appeal to older children.
Since the new millennium Carle has
published best sellers like Does a
kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? and
Dream Snow, for the holiday season.
He has worked closely with Japanese
artist Kazuo Iwamura to create a
bilingual book Where Are You Going?
To See My Friend! which reads from
left to right in English for the first
half of the book, and then from
right to left in transliterated
Japanese from the back half of the
On November 22, 2002 the Eric
Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
opened in Amherst, Massachusetts,
founded by Carle and his wife,
In 2003 Bill Martin and Carle
created a third bear book Panda
Bear, Panda bear, What Do You See?
The themes of Eric Carle’s
stories are usually drawn from
his extensive knowledge and
love of nature—an interest
shared by most small children.
Besides being beautiful and
entertaining, his books always
offer the child the opportunity
to learn something about the
world around them. It is his
concern for children, for their
feelings and their
inquisitiveness, for their
creativity and their intellectual
growth that, in addition to his
beautiful artwork, makes the
reading of his books such a
stimulating and lasting
Concepts Eric Wants Children
To Know:
• 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?
• Eric Carle said he believes 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 his
books he tries to counteract this fear, to replace it with
a positive message. He believes that children are
naturally creative and eager to learn. He wants to show
them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.
• Eric Carle is most
recognized as the
picture book genre.
What is fascinating
about his books are that
most of them are
written and illustrated
by him as well. He has
won many awards for his
hard work and
dedication to the
children in our schools.
What makes Eric Carle’s Work
Eric Carle paints on tissue
paper for his illustrations.
Tissue Paper
After painting on the tissue
paper, he uses it to create
the characters and items in
his stories.
– Creating Pictures
Artistic Style & Media
Eric Carle’s art is distinctive and
instantly recognizable. His unique
art work is created in collage style,
using hand-painted papers, which he
cuts and layers to form bright and
colorful images. Many of his books
have added effects including:
twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely
Firefly and the lifelike sound of a
cricket in The Very Quiet Cricket.
His work is also different because
he uses a unique method for his art
work. Here are examples:
Makes pictures by starting with
plain tissue paper
Then paints it different colors with
acrylics using wide and small brushes
or just his fingers.
Cuts shapes out of these colored
pieces and glues them to an
illustration board to create his
Silver Medal from the City of
Milano, Italy, 1989
The 1995 David McCord
Children’s Literature Citation,
Framingham State College + The
Nobscot Reading Council of the
International Reading
Association, 1995
University of Southern
Mississippi Medallion from
DeGrumond Collection,
University of Southern
Mississippi, Hattisburg, MS,
Regina Medal, Catholic Library
Association, 1999
Outstanding Friend of Children,
Pittsburgh Children’s Museum,
Japan Picture Book Award,
Presented by Mainichi
Newspaper for Lifetime
Achievement, 2000
Honorary Degree from College
of Our Lady the Elms, Chicopee,
MA, 2001
Officer’s Cross of the Order of
Merit of the Federal Republic of
Germany, 2001
Honorary Degree from Niagara
University, Niagara, NY, 2002
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
from the Association for Library
Service to Children, American
Library Association, 2003
Eric Carle’s Books
Written and Illustrated
– 1968: 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo
– 1969: The Very Hungry
– 1970: The Tiny Seed, Pancakes,
– 1971: Do You Want to Be My
– 1972: Walter the Baker, The
Secret Birthday Message, The
Very Long Train (Folding Book),
The Very Long Tail (Folding
Book), Rooster’s Off to See the
– 1973: I See a Song, Have You
Seen My Cat?
– 1974: All About Arthur, My
Very First Book of Numbers, My
Very First Book of Colors, My
Very First Book of Shapes, My
Very First Book of Words
– 1975: The Mixed-Up Chameleon
– 1976: Eric Carle’s Storybook,
Seven Tales by the Brothers
1977: The Grouchy Ladybug
1978: Seven Stories by Hans
Christian Andersen, Watch Out! A
• 1980: Twelve Tales from Aesop
– 1967: Brown Bear, Brown Bear,
What Do You See? Written by
Bill Martin Jr.
– 1971: The Scarecrow Clock.
Written by George Mendoza,
Feathered Ones and Furry.
Written by Aileen Fisher, The
Boastful Fisherman. Written by
William Knowlton, Tales of the
Nimipoo. Written by Eleanor B.
– 1973: Do Bears Have Mothers
Too? Written by Aileen Fisher
– 1974: Why Noah Chose the Dove.
Written by Isaac Bashevis Singer
– 1975: The Hole in the Dike.
Written by Norma Green
Eric Carle’s Books
Written and Illustrated
– 1981: The Honeybee and the
– 1982: Catch the Ball!, Let’s
Paint A Rainbow, What’s For
– 1984: The Very Busy Spider
– 1986: All in a Day, My Very
First Book of Sounds, My
Very First Book of Food, My
Very First Book of Tools, My
Very First Book of Touch,
My Very First Book of
Motion, My Very First Book
of Growth, My Very First
Book of Homes, My Very
First Book of Heads, Papa,
Please Get the Moon for Me,
All Around Us
– 1987: A House for Hermit
– 1988: Eric Carle’s Treasury
of Classic Stories for
Children, The Lamb and the
– 1989: Animals Animals
– 1990: The Very Quiet
– 1982: Otter Nonsense.
Written by Norton Juster
– 1983: Chip Has Many
Brothers. Written by Hans
Baumann (Thank You,
Brother Bear, 1995)
– 1985: The Mountain that
Loved a Bird. Written by
Alice McLerran, The Greedy
Python. Written by Richard
Buckley, The Foolish
Tortoise. Written by
Richard Buckley
Eric Carle’s Books
• Written and Illustrated
– 1991: Dragons Dragons
– 1992: Draw Me a Star
– 1993: Eric Carle: Picture
Writer, Today Is Monday
– 1994: My Apron
– 1995: The Very Lonely
– 1996: The Art of Eric
Carle, Little Cloud
– 1997: Flora and Tiger: 19
very short stories from my
life, From Head to Toe
– 1998: You Can Make a
Collage: A Very Simple
How-to Book, Hello, Red
– 1999: The Very Clumsy
Click Beetle
– 2000: Dream Snow, Does
A Kangaroo Have A
Mother, Too?
– 2002: “Slowly, Slowly,
Slowly,” said the Sloth
– 2003: Where Are You
Going? To See My Friend!
– 2004: Mister Seahorse
– 2005: 10 Little Rubber
– 2007: Baby Bear, Baby
Bear, What Do You See?
• Illustrated
– 1991: Polar Bear, Polar
Bear, What Do You Hear?
Written by Bill Martin Jr.
– 2003: Panda Bear, Panda
Bear, What Do You See?
Written by Bill Martin Jr.
Eric Carle’s Books
In Spanish
• De la cabeza a los pies:
From Head to Toe
• El grillo silencioso: The
Very Quiet Cricket
• El Canguro Tiene
Mamá: Does A Kangaroo
Have A Mother, Too?
• La Araña Muy Ocupada:
The Very Busy Spider
• La mariquita
malhumorada: The
Grouchy Ladybug
• La Oruga Muy
Hambrienta: The Very
Hungry Caterpillar
• Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo,
Qué Ves Ahi?: Brown
Bear, Brown Bear, What
Do You See?
• Oso Polar, Oso Polar,
Qué Es Ese Ruido?:
Polar Bear, Polar Bear,
What Do You Hear?
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You
Teaching Strategies
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do
You See? is about different
endangered species. With this
book you could teach the
students about the different
species in this story. You could
explain to the students that
each animal has its own habitat,
and that all the habitats are
different from one another.
Then you could put the children
in small groups and have them
create their own habitat for one
of the animals in the story. This
would teach them about the
animal and help them learn ways
to protect the species. Then
you could do a follow up activity
by going to the zoo.
A House for Hermit Crab
Hermit Crab moves out of his
small shell on the sea floor, in
search of a new house when he
outgrows his shell. When he finds
a bigger place he begins looking
for other animals to move in and
help him make this new shell home.
A sea anemone agrees to move in
with him and a starfish says he
will decorate the new shell. He
sees a snail picking up algae and
asks it to move in and clean his
house and a sea urchin is hired for
protection. A lantern fish comes in
for lighting and pebbles are used
for a wall. Hermit lives happily for
a while but realizes that it is
quickly time to move again because
this shell has also become too
small. He lets a smaller crab move
into his old shell and sets out to
find a new home.
Teaching Ideas
• Art project:
• -give students their own
blank shell and let them
decorate it with pictures
from magazines and other
art supplies similar to the
collage style of the author
• Science:
• -learn about different
habitats of various animals,
where and what they live in
• -can also learn vocabulary
and animals in the ocean (sea
anemones, coral, sea urchins)
The Secret Birthday Message
In this creative and fun book, Eric
Carle changes the way we would
typically give a birthday gift. It
starts when Tim receives a letter
written in code, sending him on an
exciting treasure hunt through a
dark cave, an underground tunnel,
and other strange places. When he
reaches the end he finds a happy
surprise, a puppy in a basket with a
tag on his paw saying, “Happy
This children’s book was
creatively written with cutout
shapes and vivid colors that can get
almost anyone excited about the
wonderful adventure Tim goes on. It
is an excellent book for elementary
aged children because it gets them
excited about reading. They have to
follow the clues along with Tim
before they can find out what the
surprise is in the end.
Teaching Ideas
It could be implemented
into a classroom because it
introduces patternrecognition, the matching of
shapes, following instructions
and simple map reading. All
of these are skills a teacher
could expand upon in an
activity. This book would be a
fun introduction to get
children thinking about these
important things and how
they effect our daily lives.
Little Cloud
• This book is very cute and
entertaining for young
children. “Little Cloud” can’t
be seen at the beginning of
the book, but after the big
clouds moved out of the way,
“Little Cloud” could be seen.
“Little Cloud” decided that
he wanted to turn himself
into many different things
such as: a sheep, airplane,
shark, tree, rabbit, and a
clown. Then at the end of
the book, all the clouds came
together as one big cloud and
caused it to rain.
Teaching Ideas
• There are many ways this
book could be used in the
classroom. As the teacher
you could:
• Let the students do an art
session where they can
pretend that cotton balls are
the clouds, and they get to
choose what they want to
make out of the clouds.
• You could also do a science
lesson about the different
types of clouds, and what
happens to the clouds when it
• http://www.ves.k12.nf.ca/Activities/Carle.htm
• The Official Eric Carle Web Site. Eric Carle. 11 November 2007
• http://www.eric-carle.com/faqs.html
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Carle
• Scholastic Review of Eric Carle:
Key Biographical notes for Eric Carle:
• Biography of Eric Carle
• The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art:
• The Official Eric Carle Website:

Eric Carle - Appalachian State University