The octogenarian Eric Carle is a well-known and popular children's book illustrator and author. Although he was born in New York (June 25, 1929), he spent the majority of his educational years in Germany and obtained his degree from the Akademie der bildenden Kunste in Stuttgart.
Two signature identifiers of his style are his skill as a collagist and his mastery of the art of brevity. A fine example of his innovative format and design is found in his third book: "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
In approximately 30 or so words and a handful of collages, he communicates a message that many authors would be hard pressed to express in thousands of words. Over 33 million copies of this book have been sold, which makes it his best-selling and most popular title. He gained his entry into the world of publishing when Bill Martin, Jr. hired him to illustrate the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?"
Carle's work typically ranges around the themes of nature or back to school, and within these topics he has produced approximately 70 books, which he has either written or illustrated or both. In addition to the artwork and conciseness of the text, interactive features such as sound, twinkling lights or cut-out pages engage the senses of learners of all ages.
The multisensory appeal, the subject matter and the popularity of the books makes them a favorite teaching resource for many teachers. They can be used to supplement or form the foundation for lesson plans, inspire ideas for activities and art projects, or provide an excellent transitional tool for rainy days or gaps in the classroom schedule. Here's our collection of our favorite activities and lessons to help you enjoy teaching with Eric Carle books.