Children's literature lost two of its greatest author-illustrators last week. Eric Carle passed away on May 23, 2021 at 96 years old and Lois Ehlert passed on May 25, 2021 at 86 years old. Both had long, active careers that influenced generations of children.
Eric Carle, born in 1929 in Syracuse, New York, grew up in Germany. He returned to the United States in 1952 and began working in advertising. In 1967 he illustrated Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin, Jr. That book has been translated into 31 languages. He published his most famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in 1969. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been translated into more than 60 languages.
In 2002, Eric Carle and his wife Barbara founded the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The museum hosts exhibits of original picture book art, family programs, and scholarship in the field of children's literature. Carle continued to draw until the end of his life. He won numerous awards including the Children's Literature Legacy Award in 2003.
Eric Carle, beloved and prolific children's author and illustrator passed away on May 23, 2021 at the at of 91. His books have been translated into dozens of languages. Here are a few of our favorites.
Lois Ehlert, born in 1934 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, grew up making collages with her mother's fabric scraps. She published her first book Growing Vegetable Soup in 1987. She illustrated Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. in 1989. Children's librarians and preschool teachers continue to use both books. Her book Color Zoo won the Caldecott Award for illustration in 1989. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Leaf Man won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award.
Collage artist Lois Ehlert died on May 26, 2021 at 86 years old. She illustrated many beloved children's books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Planting a Rainbow. Here are some of our favorites.