How do you get the little children in your life interested in reading and art at the same time?
It’s been 40 years since Eric Carle, the beloved children’s book illustrator and author created one of the most time-honored children’s classics, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” and Carle’s instructive web site is an ideal starting point for garnering pint-sized interest, and sparking creative exploration along with a trip to your local library or bookseller.
This year marks a milestone of sorts for the evergreen story - it has been translated into 47 languages and has sold over 29 million copies worldwide.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” actually began as “A Week with Willi the Worm,” and fortunate for Carle that he took his editor’s suggestion to heart (to transform a plump, green Willi into a multi- color-splashed caterpillar) because it was the caterpillar that has become his most famous work, even though to date he has illustrated or authored a combined total of 70 other books.
Carle, a grandfatherly image, says about his littlest fans, “Growing up can be very difficult – I like to help children along.” And, that he does, as he shares his techniques in a step-by-step fashion that can be mimicked by moms, dads, extended family or caretakers, (who incidentally will probably have just as much fun as the youngsters) painting colorful tissue papers and assembling your very own collage.
This year Carle celebrates another milestone – his 80th birthday. He keeps engaged and active - commuting between two households; the museum of picture book art that bears his name in Western Massachusetts; a host of book signings and even writing his own blog.
How many of you have treasured memories of being read Carle’s wonderful tale?