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Eric Carle. bio. Graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Künste , in Stuttgart. His dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories.

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  • Graduated from the prestigious art school, the AkademiederbildendenKünste, in Stuttgart.
  • His dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories.
  • In 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York.
  • He found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times.
  • Respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration.
  • This was the beginning of Eric Carle’s true career (1967).
  • Carle then began to write his own stories, too. His first original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  • Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 90 million copies of his books have sold around the world.
artistic writing style
Artistic & Writing Style
  • Eric Carle’s art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. His books are very engaging for young children. He caters to all young children by making his books very interactive and enjoyable.

Why is his work so distinctive?

  • The secret of Eric Carle’s books’ appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.
  • The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature—an interest shared by most small children.
  • Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them.
  • 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.
  • Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Literature Award presented by the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 2008
  • Honorary Degree from Bates College, Lewiston, ME, 2007
  • The NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, 2007
  • John P. McGovern Award in Behavioral Sciences, Smithsonian Institution, 2006
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the Association for Library Service to Children, American Library Association, 2003
  • Honorary Degree from Niagara University, Niagara, NY, 2002
  • Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2001
  • Honorary Degree from College of Our Lady the Elms, Chicopee, MA, 2001
  • Japan Picture Book Award, Presented by Mainichi Newspaper for Lifetime Achievement, 2000
  • Outstanding Friend of Children, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, 1999
  • Regina Medal, Catholic Library Association, 1999
  • University of Southern Mississippi Medallion from DeGrumond Collection, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattisburg, MS, 1997
  • The 1995 David McCord Children’s Literature Citation, Framingham State College + The Nobscot Reading Council of the International Reading Association, 1995
  • Silver Medal from the City of Milano, Italy, 1989
sample lesson plan brown bear brown bear what do you see
Sample lesson Plan: Brown Bear, Brown bear, What Do you See?
  • Day 1: Introduce the title, author and illustrator of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?.  Ask students to look closely at the cover. Ask students to think about what a brown bear might see. Show students the inside cover and ask them to name the colors that they see.  How might the colors be related to what the bear will see?
day 2
Day 2
  • Reread the story to the students. This time provide them with interactive puppets. Give each child an animal and if you don’t have enough the other students can be the children in the story. Tell them to listen for their animal in the story and when they hear their animal discussed in the book they can stand up.
day 3
Day 3:
  • After reading the book, have the children study the pictures closely, and discuss how they think the illustrations were made.  Show them other Eric Carle illustrations and talk about the wonderful ways he uses paint and other materials.  Have them choose which animal they would like to recreate.  After the painting dries (usually the next day) and with the child's permission, cut the shape of one of the animals out of the painting.  All of the animals displayed together make a striking bulletin board display!
day 4
Day 4
  • Have the children draw and then write about what they see. They can write “ Sam, Sam what do you see?” He can then draw a picture of what he saw and then write about what he drew. This can be displayed in the classroom for all the children to see.
day 5
Day 5
  • Let students bring their favorite stuffed bear from home to celebrate a 'Bear Buddy Day'!  Students do math activities with their bears such as button counting on the bears tummy, button sorting, sorting the bear buddies by color, size, real/imaginary, with clothes/without clothes, etc. and making a real bear graph!

List of Books

Coloring Activities



from the author
From the Author
  • Carle says: “With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will they be friendly?”