The Art of Eric Carle

Overview

Eric Carle is one of the world's most beloved artists of children's books. Creator of the classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he has captured the imagination of millions of children and adults with his bold, colorful collage illustrations. Eric Carle's life and work are explored in this comprehensive portrait that includes more than sixty full-color illustrations from his books; artwork from his student days; a moving autobiographical account of his life, with photographs; anecdotal reflections by Ann Beneduce, ...
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Overview

Eric Carle is one of the world's most beloved artists of children's books. Creator of the classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he has captured the imagination of millions of children and adults with his bold, colorful collage illustrations. Eric Carle's life and work are explored in this comprehensive portrait that includes more than sixty full-color illustrations from his books; artwork from his student days; a moving autobiographical account of his life, with photographs; anecdotal reflections by Ann Beneduce, his longtime friend and editor of The Very Hungry Caterpillar; essays on the power of his art by his German publisher, Viktor Christen, and Takeshi Matsumoto, curator at the Chihiro Iwasaki Museum in Tokyo; an insightful speech by Eric Carle originally given at the Children's Literature Center in the Library of Congress; a photographic essay on how he creates his collages; and a full-color illustrated bibliography of all of his books.

The noted author-illustrator discusses his life and art.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
This highly original collage of words and pictures by and about Eric Carle echoes Carle's artistic style, hailed by one contributor for its "powerful simplicity. . . clear shapes. . . bold colors. . . and the stories that teach without being didactic." Central to the book are Carle's autobiography, a reprint of his 1990 Library of Congress speech, and his art-a photo essay, book illustrations, and an international bibliography. Other voices add shading. A brief introduction, for example, in which Carle's American editor recounts their working relationship, provides critical context. His German editor examines the dramatic elements in Carle's stories. And a Japanese art curator speaks of colors "far beyond any human sense of color." Like Carle's books for children, the inviting page design encourages careful consideration of what he calls his "dabs of color"-the personal and professional influences upon artistic style. The book will engage adolescents and adults already familiar with Carle's work, but it is especially suited to professionals interested in the origins of creativity.-Sue Burgess, Framingham MA State College
Kirkus Reviews
The Art Of Eric Carle ( Sept. 4, 1996; 125 pp.; 0-399- 22937-X): An agreeable overview of Carle's life and work, a consideration of the genesis of his ideas, a look at how he fashions his collages, and admiring words from some of his colleagues. There are repetitions, e.g., the story of how The Very Hungry Caterpillar came into existence is related at least three times. Throughout are photographs and reproductions of art; the book closes with more samples of Carle's work and an international bibliography of his published books.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399240027
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 589,151
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Carle
Eric Carle
Children learn about the natural world in Eric Carle's original, charming books, which include classics such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. Carle's vivid tissue-paper illustrations and innovations in book design have made him an author whose longevity and continued popularity are testaments to his beloved status among young readers and parents.

Biography

Ever since he began innovating the look and function of children's stories in the late 1960s, Eric Carle has remained an author whose stories reliably hit the bestseller lists and remain on kids' bookshelves through generations.

He began as a designer of promotions and ads, and one illustration of a red lobster helped jump-start his career. The lobster caught the eye of author Bill Martin, Jr.; Martin asked Carle to illustrate the now-classic 1967 title Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and a career was born.

Born in Syracuse, New York but brought by his immigrant parents back to Germany when he was six, Carle was educated in Stuttgart and designed posters for the United States Information Center there after graduating from art school. He finally returned to the country he missed so much as a child in 1952.

He eventually began procuring work on children's titles, and found himself becoming increasingly involved in them. "I felt something of my own past stirring in me," he wrote in a 2000 essay. "An unresolved part of my own education needed reworking, and I began to make books -- books for myself, books for the child in me, books I had yearned for. I became my own teacher -- but this time an understanding one."

He began his career with the 1968 title 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo; but his next title, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is what still endears him to young readers today. Employing his bright, collage style and lending an immediacy to the tale by manifesting the caterpillar's hunger in actual holes in the pages, Carle began what would be a long career of creative approaches to simple stories. From the chirp emerging from The Very Quiet Cricket to the delightful fold-out pages in Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, Carle's books provide surprises that make his stories come alive in ways that many titles for preschoolers do not.

Carle's style, with its diaphanous, busy and bold artwork, is perfect for engaging new readers. His stories are also popular with parents and educators for their introductions to the natural world and its cycles. It's a particular pleasure to follow Carle into different corners of the world and see what can be learned from the creatures who live in them.

Good To Know

Regularly asked where he gets his ideas, Carle is quoted on his publisher's web site as responding: "Of course, the question of where ideas come from is the most difficult of all. Some people like to say they get ideas when they're in the shower. That's always a very entertaining answer, but I think it's much deeper than that. It goes back to your upbringing, your education, and so forth." He does say, however, that the idea for The Very Hungry Caterpillar came when he whimsically began punching holes in some paper, which suggested to him a bookworm at work. His editor later suggested he change the bookworm to a caterpillar, and the rest is history.

Carle was unhappy to be in Germany when his immigrant parents brought him back there as a child. He hated his new school and wanted to go back to America. He said: "When it became apparent that we would not return, I decided that I would become a bridge builder. I would build a bridge from Germany to America and take my beloved German grandmother by the hand across the wide ocean."

Before he became a freelance illustrator and began working on children's books, Carle worked as a graphic designer for the New York Times and as art director of an ad agency.

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    1. Hometown:
      Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 25, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      Syracuse, New York
    1. Education:
      Akademie der bildenden K√ľnste, Stuttgart, 1946-50
    2. Website:

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