Eric Carle

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The Secret Birthday Message (collage)
Eric Carle, illustrator, author
Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1971

Eric Carle was born in Syracuse, NY in 1929. He and his parents moved to Stuttgart, Germany, to be near his mother’s family when he was in first grade. He learned to speak German and was educated in Germany during WWII. Soon after the war began, his father was drafted into the German Army and was gone for eight years. Part of that time he was a prisoner of war in Russia. Carle began his art studies and in 1952 he returned to the US where he worked with the New York Times. He was recruited into the US Army and was stationed back in Stuttgart. During this time he married his first wife, Dorthea. After discharge, they along with their two children, returned to New York where he worked as a designer until 1963. He soon began working with Bill Martin, illustrating books for children and his life was “beginning to move into its true course.”

In 1969 Carle’s award winning book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, was published. He went on to write and illustrate more than 70 books, many which include feelings and emotions which were left out of his early school years but which make life “special and joyous."

In 2002, Carle and his second wife, Barbara Morrison, founded the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst MA. This museum collects and exhibits the best of children's book illustration.

-Something About the Author, 2006

Eric Carle