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Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, passed away on May 23, 2021 in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was 91 years old.

From the Eric Carle Team: It is with a heavy heart that we share that Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other popular classics, passed away on the 23rd at the age of 91.

Thank you for sharing your talent with generations of young readers. pic.twitter.com/wuMe4eqVXo

– Eric Carle (@ericcarle) May 26, 2021

A poem is included on the Bobbie and Eric Carle family website:

In the light of the moon
hold on to a lucky star
a painter of rainbows
is now traveling across the night sky.

Of the more than 70 books that Carle illustrated, his best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, published in 1969, has been translated into 66 languages ​​and sold over 50 million copies. According to his website, “more than 152 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.”

Carle was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, but spent much of his early life in Germany. After graduating from the art school in Stuttgart, he returned to the USA and worked as a graphic designer in the advertising department of the New York Times. Carle started illustrating children’s books when writer Bill Martin Jr. asked him, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Subsequently, Carle wrote and illustrated his own books, starting with 1, 2, 3 up to the zoo.

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Further reading:

10 picture books to expand the palate of the very hungry caterpillar

An absolutely serious analysis of the VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR