In Memory of Eric Carle

Though our hearts are sad with the recent news of Eric Carle passing on May 23, 2021, readers will continue to celebrate his cherished books and instantly recognizable art for generations to come.

A selection of Eric Carle legacies

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Carle, Eric, opens a new window

He gave children hope

"You, little insignificant caterpillar, can grow up into a beautiful butterfly and fly into the world with your talent.”

~ Eric Carle describing his message behind "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

He helped children believe they could make art. His poster art (as he liked to think of his book covers) was a simple collage of colored tissue paper with wallpaper glue. Why is the great appeal of collage for children? "They can do it too," claims Carle. "I don't make art; I make pictures. Art is in museums!"

He founded the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, opens a new window in 2002, the first American institution dedicated to picture book art in Amherst with his wife Barbara Morrison.

The Eric Carle collection at Marin libraries

Is there a title that you have not read or one that you want to reread? Browse the collection in a variety of languages

English , opens a new window

Spanish, opens a new window

French, German, and Portuguese, opens a new window

We will miss you, Eric Carle, but we take comfort in your colorful art and charming stories that live on in our hearts and within children's rooms across the globe!


Carmel, Julia. (2021, May 26). Eric Carle, the author of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar,' dies at 91, opens a new window. The New York Times [online newspaper]

Cascone, Sarah. (2021, May 27). Eric Carle, the illustrator and children’s book author whose ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ sold more than 55 million copies, is dead at 91, opens a new window. [online art magazine]

Collages and Cocoons. (2014, March 25). "Very Hungry Caterpillar" creator marks 45th anniversary, opens a new window. CBS This Morning Show [via YouTube]

Eric Carle. The Official Eric Carle Website, opens a new window. [official website]

Ulaby, Neda. (2021, May 26). Eric Carle, creator of the very hungry caterpillar has died, opens a new window. [online Public Radio]