Eric Carle

By: Alex Pittman

In 1952, in America, Eric Carle decided to write and illustrate children's books to show children the joy that can be found in books.

Summary of Research

Eric Carle started drawing when he was a little boy and has asserted that he “will never stop being a scribbler.” Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, he spent his early childhood in America before moving to Germany at the age of six. Carle learned German and studied at the prestigious Academy of Visual Arts before fulfilling his dream of returning to the U.S. in 1952. After working as a graphic designer and art director of an advertising agency, Carle collaborated with Bill Martin, Jr. on Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, launching his remarkable career as a beloved children's book illustrator. Since then Carle has also written and illustrated many well-known titles such as The Grouchy Ladybug and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into more than 30 languages. To create his beautiful pictures, Carle uses the technique of collage. He loves it when students tell him they can make pictures in the same way! Carle first paints over colored tissue paper with acrylic paint sometimes using a wide brush, sometimes a narrow brush, sometimes his fingertips, and often using a sponge, burlap, or other bumpy material like a stamp to create texture. Then he cuts out shapes in the colored papers (which he stores in color-coded drawers after they dry) to make the different parts of his scenes and characters. Today, he is still writing children's books.

An Interview With Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpiller
The Very Grouchy Ladybug
The Mixed-Up Chameleon

Summary of Synthesized Information

The tone of Eric Carle's books are happy and joyful because the characters show that happy endings always come to those with an imagination. They also provide colorful pictures that help you understand the story. Finally, they have a rhythm that makes it very fun for a child to read books. The theme in Eric Carle's books are virtues that most children should know.  In "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", the mood is silly because the caterpillar eats different  fruits in a pattern of numbers, such as 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 strawberries, etc. It also has a rhythmic swing to it that makes you want to keep reading it.  Finally, the character teaches the reader a valuable lesson.


  • "Biographical Notes for Eric Carle." The Official Eric Carle Web Site -. Web. 02 Mar. 2015. <>.
    • "Eric Carle Author Study |" Scholastic Teachers. Web. 02 Mar. 2015. <>.
    • "Eric Carle's Biography |" Scholastic Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.
    • "Eric Carle Blog." Eric Carle Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2015.
    • "Eric Carle." Eric Carle. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2015.
    • Carratello, John, Patty Carratello, and Cheryl Buhler. Eric Carle. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials, 1992. Print.
    • Costa, Diete Soethoudt-Da. Eric Carle. 's-Gravenhage: Nederlands Bibliotheek En Lektuur Centrum, 1979. Print.
    • Carle, Eric, Eric Carle, Richard Buckley, Bill Martin, Eric Carle, and Eric Carle.Eric Carle. Bradley, IL: Library, 2014. Print.

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