And so it began--a hole puncher and a stack of paper, and one of the world's most beloved children's books was born. This hungry caterpillar eats his way through a variety of fruit. After eating a green leaf, he builds a cocoon. And then, a miraculous event occurs. He turns into a beautiful butterfly.
Visit his official website and see a marvelous short video of him discussing this book and and painting and creating his wonderful collage art. "I love color!" declares the almost 80 year old Carle. He hand paints papers and then cuts and layers them to create his signature collages.
See a most interesting biography of his life.
How did his career begin? Bill Martin, Jr. asked Carle to illustrate a story he had written, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Martin was captivated by a bright red lobster that Carle had painted for an advertisement.
The themes of Carle's stories are drawn from his knowledge and love of nature. His books are visually gorgeous and entertaining. But they also offer readers the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. He has an intuitive understanding and respect for children. "It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience." (2)
last page from the newly released pop-up version
And, guess what? There is an Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! 125 West Bay Road Amherst, MA 01002 website:
Published in 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold more than 29 million copies and has been translated into 47 languages. This book continues to sell about 650,00 copies per year.
Addendum: NICO Design pointed out that fabric is available. Here are some resources: Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric and quilt kits: http://http//www.fourthcornerquilts.com/CollectionProducts.aspx?CollectionID=109 http://http//store.besewhappy.com/servlet/-strse-Andover-Fabrics-cln-The-Very-Hungry-Caterpillar-by-Eric-Carle/Categories Brown Bear fabrics and fat quarters: http://www.fatquartershop.com/store/stores_app/Browse_dept_items.asp?T=1&Store_id=499&page_id=17
And, of couse, fabrics are available at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: http://http//www.picturebookart.org/Shop
check this out!
and Carle's own blog!
Mishkat of http://mishkathryn.blogspot.com/ informed me that there is an article about Carle in the March 23, 2009 Newsweek (pp.52-54).
NEW: I have just found the most wonderful blog, Children's/Fantasy IIlustrations! Hermes has posted a fantastic youtube animated version of the book here! You must see this!
NOTE: Apparently, the links not written in html are broken. And I don't have time to fix them right now. Copy and paste and you will get there. Sorry.