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The Official Eric Carle Website
... Through the Looking Glass
Eric Carle artwork ...
**Eric Carle talking about** The Very Hungry Caterpillar....40th anniversary
A video interview with Eric Carle
... Reading Rockets
selected list of his children's books
Eric Carle on Eric
Interview with Eric Carle
Which book(s) do you think every child should read?
I think there are many wonderful books for children that without question would enrich a child's life. But I don't see readers or children. I see a reader and a reader and a reader. I see a child and a child and a child. My background is not in education but it has always been my belief that each child is an individual and I hope that educators and parents will expose each child to a whole range of books and styles of literature and art. In this way, each child can discover what interests them and can connect with a story or a picture in their own particular way.
Which other Children's writers do you admire?
Among some of my favorite picture book artists are Leo Lionni, Maurice Sendak, Jose Aruego, Lisbeth Zwerger, Mitsumasa Anno, Ezra Jack Keats, Leo Lionni, Jerry Pinkney and Chris Van Allsburg. Each of these picture book artists has an individual and distinctive style and approach and each one speaks from his or her soul.
What are your top five (5-10) Children's books of all time, in order or otherwise?
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Leo the Late Bloomer, Robert Kraus
The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Tibet Through the Red Box, Peter Sis
The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
All of Anno's books
The Gift of the Magi, Lisbeth Zwerger
Is there a particular book or author that inspired you to be a writer?
In the mid 1960's Bill Martin Jr, saw an ad of a red lobster that I had designed and asked me to illustrate his Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? What an inspiring book! I was set on fire! It was possible, after all, to do something special that would show a child the joy to be found in books. This opportunity changed my life. And almost without any planning, I became an author and illustrator of books for children.
What is your favourite time of day to write?
I tend to work in the morning.
And favourite place?
In my studio.
Which fictional character would you most like to have met?
Leo from the book Leo the Late Bloomer - because I too am a late bloomer.
Which fictional character would you most like to be?
When I was younger, Flash Gordon. I was fascinated by Flash Gordon, who was always rescuing some damsel in distress. I remember certain pages as vividly as when I first looked at them.
What is your favourite word?
Other than writing, what other jobs have you either had, or wanted to do?
I was a graphic designer for many years, before I started to create books for children. And I have always fantasized about being a chef! I love the idea of cooking up delicious dishes and tasting and testing all of the flavours.
When did you write your first story?
My first book, 1,2,3 to the Zoo was published in 1968 - but it was a wordless story. Next came The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which originally was a story called A Week with Willi Worm. But my brilliant editor Ann Beneduce did not think a worm would be so appealing. She suggested a caterpillar instead and I said, "Butterfly!" The rest is history.
What are you working on at the moment?
After finishing my last book, and after many books before it as well, I felt a sense of completion and entertained the idea that it may be my last book. That I have nothing left. But then a new book will make itself known. I am semi-retired and am enjoying spending time with Bobbie and friends and family. But I don't feel I can truly say I will ever retire from creating books.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear. What Do You See?
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Quiet Cricket
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