Eric Carle

Literary Birthday – 25 June – Eric Carle


Eric Carle was born 25 June 1929 and died 23 May 2021.

Quotes

  1. The hardest part is developing the idea, and that can take years.
  2. We have eyes, and we’re looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important.
  3. Let’s put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20.
  4. One day I think it’s the greatest idea ever that I’m working on. The next day I think it’s the worst that I’ve ever worked on – and I swing between that a lot. Some days I’m very happy with what I’m doing, and the next day I am desperate – it’s not working out!
  5. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.
  6. To me pictures need writing and writing needs pictures. A child once called me a picture writer, and that’s a good way to describe me.
  7. When I start a book, it’s a lot of fun. After a while it is work, then it becomes labour. Towards the end it feels like slavery! After I have delivered the finished illustrations to the publisher, I become sad. But when I see the printed book, I am happy again!
  8. I often tell people about the four magic letters: DO IT. I want to be encouraging but I can only offer the example of my own experience, which is just one approach. There are many wonderful picture book artists to learn about, which is important. But you must use your own imagination. You have to just do it.
  9. Writer’s block or any kind of creative crisis is part of the creative life. You have to go through it. There is no avoiding it.

Eric Carle was an American illustrator and writer of children’s books. His picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been translated into more than 66 languages and sold more than 50 million copies. Eric Carle illustrated more than 70 books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 152 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

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 by Amanda Patterson

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