Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Dear Friends,
Cheers and warm wishes for a very happy holiday season!
Peace to all,
Eric Carle

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What I did in Massachusetts

I spent a week in Massachusetts this fall, and enjoyed a wonderful visit and book signing at The Carle. Here I am with a young friend who waited patiently in line and presented me with his own book project.

And while in Northampton, MA I spent some time working in my old studio in the building where I created many of my books. But it wasn't a book I was working on...here's a little video if you would to see what I was up to.

Photo credit: Kristin Angel
Video credit: Rachel Hass

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Carle Honors 2011

The Carle Honors is a very special tradition now. It is The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art's annual celebration and award ceremony and this year's was as delightful as ever and very meaningful to the recipients of the awards, the Museum board of directors and staff, Bobbie and myself and all who care about the Museum. This year the Carle Honors were given to Michael Di Capua (Mentor), Jeanne Steig (Angel), Karen Nelson Hoyle (Bridge) and Lois Ehlert (Artist). Here's a photo taken during the award ceremony that captures the beauty of the building where the elegant event was held for the second time, Guastavino's built under the 59th Street bridge in New York City.

Next year the Museum will be 10 years old and Nancy Schön, who was a Carle Honor recipient in 2010, unveiled her beautiful bronze maquette of The Very Hungry Caterpillar which will be available for sale as part of the Museum's anniversary year. Here I am saying hello to my good friend!

Photos by Johnny Wolf Photography (c) 2011 The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse

Dear Friends,

I am very happy to share this video about my new book, The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse which is an homage to the Expressionist painter Franz Marc. I hope you will enjoy it!

I will be signing copies of Blue Horse at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 PM and at the following locations in New York and New Jersey:

Saturday, October 1
11 AM-12:30 PM - Books, Bytes and Beyond
197 Rock Road
Glen Rock, NJ 07452

Monday, October 3
5:30 PM - Barnes & Noble, Union Square
33 East 17th Street
NY, NY 10003

Hope to see you at one of these events if you are in the area.
Best wishes,
Eric Carle

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kaisei-sha exhibition at Fukuoka Asia Museum

These photos are of an exhibit currently on at the Fukuoka Asia Museum in Japan. Many thanks to my Japanese publisher Kaisei-sha for all that they did to make this show possible. I am delighted by the wall murals and the scale of the art work. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I do!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Remembering Tock

I was recently given these photos of our beloved Tock, the white Samoyed (on left in above photo) who was our dog a long time ago. Tock was a very special dog and she had a good dog friend named Fluffy, (also in these photos) who belonged to our neighbor when we lived in the beautiful hills of western Massachusetts.

These photos bring back many happy memories of our days with Tock who is incidentally named after the dog in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (Norton is a friend of ours).

This is a tissue paper collage of Tock that I made for Bobbie. We both loved Tock and remember her with great fondness.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Massachusetts in July

It was a busy and exciting time in western Massachusetts where we spent the past 10 days visiting with friends and making my annual appearance at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a book signing. More than 400 people came from all over the U.S. and the world including visitors from Kenya, Japan, Costa Rica, Kansas, Florida, France and Korea. It was a great day saying hello and signing books.

Bobbie and I were also delighted to be at the Museum the night before the signing event, to remember Leo Lionni and to celebrate the unveiling of his beautiful sculpture which is now on view in the Museum's great hall. You must come and see it!

Photo credit: Kristin Angel

Friday, July 8, 2011


Do You Want to Be My Friend? which was published forty years ago in 1971 is my favorite book. It has only eight words. But it's not a simple book. It's a guessing game: what animal is attached to each tail? And a mystery: why is there a green border on the bottom of every page? And it is a story about friendship. Friendship is very important to children, adults sometimes forget that.

When I was six years old my parents and I moved from Syracuse NY, where I was born, to Germany. Almost daily, I would ask them "When are we going home?"

Soon after our move to Germany, I received a letter from my friend Carlton Mayer in Syracuse. "Dear Eric," he wrote. "I would licke to see you so bad wen are you koming back again?" Twenty years later, I arrived at his doorstep and he recognized me. "You're Eric!" he said. I still have his precious letter and in my heart Do You Want to Be My Friend? is for Carlton.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


These are posters I designed before I started to illustrate picture books.

My first job when I was 20 years old was at the Amerika Haus U.S. Information Center in Germany where I worked as a poster designer.

I am still very proud of these and often think of my book covers (and inside pages) as little posters. I hope you will enjoy them!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meeting Tomi Ungerer

Bobbie and I spent this past weekend in Massachusetts where we thoroughly enjoyed meeting Tomi Ungerer and his lovely family. An exhibit of Tomi's work, Tomi Ungerer, Chronicler of the Absurd is currently on view at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

This weekend was the first time Tomi and I met in person, although we both came to New York in the early 1950's where with just a few dollars in our pockets we planned to begin our careers. Tomi started to work in children's picture book illustration soon after he arrived, and I worked in the field of graphic design for a number of years before I began making picture books. It was a great honor to meet and I am very happy to have Tomi's work on exhibit during this year of his 80th birthday. I hope you will come and see the show!

You can preview Tomi's exhibit here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A story and a star

My mother's mother, my maternal grandmother, used to tell me stories, as I have mentioned in earlier blog posts. She also taught me how to draw an 8-pointed star. As she scribbled a star on a scrap of paper, she would say this poem, in German:

Kri Kra Kroten-Fuss, Gänse Laufen Bar-Fuss

The translation is as follows:

Kri Kra Toad's Foot, Geese Walk Bare-foot

I think this nonsense poem was based on German folklore. It's a totally unknown story that I've never come across anywhere else. Most likely my grandmother remembered it from her own childhood. But this was how I learned to make a star. And out of this memory of my grandmother's story, of her showing me how to draw a star, along with a dream I had about a falling star, came my book, Draw Me A Star!

Now you too can try to draw an 8-pointed star. See if you can do it without lifting your pen from the paper!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Looking forward to July 16, 2011

I can't wait for my annual book signing at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on July 16, 2011. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All Around the World

I am delighted that my books are enjoyed in different countries and are being read in so many different languages. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been translated into more than 50 languages! I think that part of the reason it appeals to so many people is because of its hopeful message. Here are a few book covers in a variety of languages from around the world including Greek, Urdu, Arabic, Thai, Chinese, Italian and Russian. Many thanks to all of my foreign publishers for printing my book in your beautiful languages and to readers everywhere!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On the boardwalk

Dear Friends,
It has been a lovely winter in Florida. A good quiet stretch of time by the ocean and just the kind of time the hermit part of me enjoys. But like many creatures, we are thinking about the next season and our migration back to North Carolina. I love this place on the boardwalk that leads from our home to the water. It is one of my favorite places to walk and sit, take in the ocean and the light and the sky.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Rug Design

This is a photo of a rug based on the design I created for the end sheets for my book Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? (written by my friend, Bill Martin Jr). It is in my home and I enjoy its colorful design on a daily basis. I am very pleased with how this small image was blown up to a large scale faithfully. The rug is a wool and silk hand-hooked rug and was made by Tibetan artisans. Perhaps one day I will become a rug designer!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day!

I am delighted and honored to tell you that March 20th this year is the 3rd annual Very Hungry Caterpillar Day! To celebrate, events and programs are being planned around the country in schools, libraries and bookstores.

In March and April, The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia will be performing their wonderful black light puppetry productions based on my stories in various theaters around the U.S.

Also, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is holding a day of activities including a visit from the caterpillar himself!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar will also be making appearances at additional boosktores and other locations. You can find out more at the Penguin USA web site

Thank you everyone for celebrating this day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Sometimes children will write to me and ask if I ever make mistakes when I’m creating illustrations. There are no mistakes, I explain. It is all useful in some way; all a part of the creative process. However, it is true that some pictures don’t belong in a book, for one reason or another. Somebody else might not think so. But for me, it’s a very personal decision and I have high standards for my own work.

Here is an example of alternative art for my book Animals, Animals. The first pelican I created for this book had a dark, brown background.

Many of the pictures that I create for a book, I would say almost a third, don’t make it into the actual book. But this doesn’t mean that the individual pieces are uninteresting or unsuccessful. What matters the most to me is the unity of effect in the entire book; how all of the pictures work together to create a whole feel or flow that is consistent throughout. But even the work I choose not to include is interesting to me and I keep it for archival purposes.

The final art work as you can see, has a much lighter, green background and white space, which you might notice is consistent with many of the pictures in this book.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Think BIG

When I was starting out doing freelance work in the late 1960's, after my stint as an ad executive, and before I had started to make books for children, I created this brochure to promote my work. It is a folded brochure and on the cover is a tiny ladybug who is saying: "THINK SMALL". Inside there is the image of a very large whale who is saying: "think big". The brochure did get some attention from publishers. It was a project I enjoyed working on and feel it is not unrelated to the books I would soon start to create.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tomie & Me

You might like to read this conversation between myself and fellow picture book artist and author Tomie DePaola!