Eric Carle's Children's Books

by sheilamarie

Children's author/illustrator Eric Carle enters the world of the very young with his paper collage.

The children's books of Eric Carle continue to bring joy to young children and their families. Something about Carle's naive yet brilliant illustrations speaks to a child's inner world.

Their paper collage style simply yet accurately depict things that are important to a child, such as animals and food, and with such bright colors. Topics such as sounds, colors, growing, opposites, and other youthful burning topics take a child where he or she is and brings them to the next step in understanding.

We are lucky to have someone creating books who so understands the way a child thinks. Here are some of my favorite Eric Carle books.

Eric Carle: Author and Illustrator of Books for the Very Young

Author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle, award-winning author and illustrator of over seventy books for children has the rare gift of seeing the world from the perspective of a very young child. His rhythmic prose and his illustrations, created by tearing paper and making collages, speak of the innocence and simplicity of a child's world.

Although many of Carle's books are classics, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is perhaps his best known. The story begins with an egg that hatches on a leaf. The tiny caterpillar who emerges is very hungry and eats his way through an amazing amount of food each day of the week until he is quite large and closes himself in a chrysalis. You can imagine what happens next.

Bright colors characterize Carle's art work. His style is distinctive and unlike any other.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book

by Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book

The Very Little Library: Classic Eric Carle

The "Very" Series

This collection of Eric Carle books consists of three popular titles: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, and The Very Lonely Firefly.

Each of these books has simple text that children respond to and learn by heart. The torn paper collage art is bright and child-like and very appealing.

The Very Little Library

Very Hungry Caterpillar, Very Lonely Firefly, Very Busy Spider
Eric Carle's Very Little Library

Mini-Books in a Slip Cover

Collection of Eric Carle's Picture Books

Charming collection of hardcover mini-books. (Note: They have paper pages.)

Included are the titles Rooster's Off to See the World, Papa Please Get Me the Moon, Pancakes Pancakes, and A House for Hermit Crab.


My Very First Library

Boxed Set

A collection of four concept books in their own little box. Included in the set are the books

My Very First Book of Colors,

My Very First Book of Shapes,

My Very First Book of Numbers, and

My Very First Book of Words.

Each book is bright and colorful and gives the child an experience of focusing on one concept at a time in a pleasant way.

Colors, Shapes, Numbers, Words

Boxed Set
My Very First Library

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

With His Friends Polar Bear and Panda Bear

I once had a job visiting families with young children month by month, bringing parenting information and child development information that pertained to the exact age the child was that month. Along with the information, I always brought an activity and a book tailored to the age of the child. One book I carried regularly was Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

Children I visited really loved this book. Some of them memorized the rhythm of it and were eager to anticipate the color of the animal coming on the next page. By the end of reading it through, they were saying the repeated words together with me as we described the next color and the next animal. These books, with their repeated refrain and regular rhythm are wonderful at helping a child feel confident and at home in the language. They also help review concepts such as colors and sounds with your young listeners.

Brown Bear, Polar Bear, and Panda Bear

Classic Books by Bill Martin and Illustrated by Eric Carle
Brown Bear & Friends Board Book Gift Set

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me

A Story About Love and the Moon

In this tale, a young child who asks her Papa to bring her the moon is delighted when he actually finds a way to do it. With the help of a mountain and a long ladder, Papa climbs into the sky to reach the moon. He has to wait a bit until the moon's size wanes until it's small enough to take down. Later, the little girl sees the moon return to the sky again, as it waxes and grows up in the night sky.

This tale about a father's love also provides a background for learning about the moon's phases.

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me (World of Eric Carle)

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me (World of Eric Carle)

The Mixed-Up Chameleon

by Eric Carle

When the Cameleon decides he wants to change his colors to be like all the animals in the zoo, the results are surprising!

He didn't know he would look like all the animals at once!

Eric Carle's Opposites

The World of Eric Carle
Eric Carle's Opposites (The World of Eric Carle)

Eric Carle's Opposites

Big and Small

The concept of opposites is an important one for children to grasp. Once a child gets the idea of big being the "opposite" of small and fast being the "opposite" of slow, he will try to think of many other opposites. Even the word "opposite" seems like such a grown-up word that your child will enjoy making it part of his vocabulary and may repeat it in appropriate and even inappropriate ways. ("Mommy, is a cat the opposite of a dog?")

This book is a fun and colorful way to explore many of these opposites. Because the idea of what truly is opposite is repeated in many ways, the child will soon get the idea and will come up with new examples that do work. (I get it! Wet is the opposite of dry!")


The Eric Carle Museum

Developed by Eric Carle in Honor of Children's Book Illustrations

Nestled in the hills of western Massachusetts is the little town of Amherst where a very special museum opened its doors in 2002. The artwork of Eric Carle, illustrator of over seventy books, many of which he was also the author, along with the artwork of several other children's book illustrators hangs on the walls at eye level -- if you are five years old!

This museum was the idea of Eric Carle and his wife, Bobbi, who wanted to honor the amazing and beautiful artwork that fills the pages of children's books. Realizing that children enter the world of literature and art through the pages of children's picture books, Carle wanted to create a museum that not only honored the art but welcomed young children into the experience of looking at art in a museum setting.

The set up of the museum is extremely kid-friendly, with art low on the walls and available to be viewed by very short people. And it is not only Eric Carle's art that is displayed there. Art and illustrations from children's books by other American illustrators as well as by international illustrators can be seen hanging on the walls to be appreciated by young eyes.

If you enjoy picture book art and can make the visit to Amherst, Massachusetts, you will not be disappointed with your visit to the Eric Carle Museum.

More Articles About Books for Preschoolers

Children's Books You May Like
The Kissing Hand tells the story of Chester Raccoon whose mother encourages him on the first day of school by placing her special kiss on the palm of his hand.
Book puppets are fun for toddlers and their families. When you combine a story with a built in puppet, you are bound to hear the giggles.
Entertain your children and help them prepare for Christmas with one of these finger puppet board books. Christmas story, Santa Claus, Counting Books bring baby's Christmas alive.

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Updated: 06/25/2013, sheilamarie
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sheilamarie on 06/22/2012

Thanks for your comment, Tolovaj. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Tolovaj on 06/22/2012

I am not an expert on literature for very young, but can certainly say i admire his imaginative world, where logic sometimes looks a bit odd but narration works from start to the very end. We have only couple of Carle's books in translated in Slovene and I have no idea if they are selling better than average.
His graphics is not so attractive at first look and maybe people need some time to find the beauty and wit in its simplicity?
Anyway, I have read two of his books and they were great. Thumbs up!

sheilamarie on 03/23/2012

I've read that book zillions of times, too, Jimmie. I used to carry it along when I worked as a parent educator doing home visits. I think I can recite it by heart now.

Jimmie on 12/10/2011

All you have to do is say, "Eric Carle," and I get that wistful, happy feeling, remembering my daughter's toddler days. Special times reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

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