Memories of Eric Carle

Today, beloved author and illustrator Eric Carle turns 90 years old. Throughout his career, he has inspired so many young readers with messages of encouragement, hope, and a celebration of the little things in our everyday world. In celebration of Eric, we asked our staff to share their favorite memories of Eric Carle books and art!

When I first started as a librarian I was doing a toddler story time – and toddlers can be a little bit of a handful. Eric Carle’s book From Head to Toe was a lifesaver because it’s got big, fun illustrations, and also lots of things that kids can act out – like making different kind of sounds and different kinds of movements, including kicking like a donkey. What I learned very quickly is that you need to spread out the kids a little bit before you read it out loud. It’s a fantastic book, and the kids loved it every time I read it.
– Lori Prince, Director, Content Organization and Data Strategies

My favorite Eric Carle books were the polar bear book & the panda bear book. I remember doing Eric Carle-esque art in grade school, gluing layers of tissue paper to construction paper. I think my mom still has the picture I made. So thank you, Eric Carle, for being this young artist’s inspiration!

Andrew Brandshaw, Data and Reporting Manager, Member Services

My brother and his young family moved in with me in my one-bedroom apartment while they waited for their new house to be built. He, his wife, and my nephew, then three years old, stayed with me for about three months. Every day during those three months, as soon as I walked in the door from my day at work, my nephew would come up to me like a puppy holding Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? imploring that I read it to him. So every day, we sat on my bed and I would read the book as he flipped the pages. One day we sat on the bed as usual, he opened the book, and proceeded to recite each word on the page in the same way I had done for him in our earlier story times. From then on, he was reading to me!
– Marissa Wasseluk, Director of Content, Digital Communications

My grandma read all the Eric Carle stories to me until I was 6. I loved The Very Lonely Firefly – I think that was grandma’s favorite, too. that’s the one that we read what it feel like to going to your house. Those story times were one of the best parts of visiting grandma.

Kelsey Gordon, Manager, Concierge Services

My favorite Eric Carle memory happened here at First Book! The Very Hungry Caterpillar has always been one of my favorite picture books. We chose the title to be the theme for our holiday giving campaign last year. What a wonderful surprise it was to open an email and find a special message from Eric Carle, himself!

Jenn Morrison, Digital Fundraising Manager, Development Department

Through Friday (June 28, 2019), we are celebrating Eric’s birthday with a special giveaway on our Instagram feed. Visit our Instagram to enter for your chance to win a special Eric Carle-themed package that will create lasting memories with your young readers!

Imagine if you had never met the Very Hungry Caterpillar when you were a child.

Millions of children will never have the chance. First Book works every day to help children gain access to books that inspire. Donate today to help support our mission.