Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.
Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality- a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions. E
Mice, a rottweiler, an arachnid and a few other assorted critters make sturdy reappearances in five board book versions of picture books. In Ellen Stoll Walsh's Mouse Paint, ``three white mice on a white piece of paper" enjoy a colorful romp, while in Walsh's Mouse Count a similar gaggle narrowly escapes being served for dinner (Harcourt/Red Wagon, $6 each, 28p, ages 1-3 ISBN 0-15-200265-0; -200266-9 Sept.). Yet another mouse searches the animal kingdom for companionship‘and finds an unexpected respondent‘in Eric Carle's Do You Want to Be My Friend? (HarperFestival, $6.95, 32p, ages 2-6, ISBN 0-694-00709-9 Sept.). The rewards of industriousness are celebrated in a second Carle title, The Very Busy Spider; its embossed web brings a tactile dimension to his familiar collage artwork (Philomel, $9.95, 26p, ages 2-up ISBN 0-399-22919-1 Aug.). Finally, the canine in question is Alexandra Day's beloved Carl, who takes charge of a crew of toddlers in Carl Goes to Day Care (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $5.95, ages 1-3 ISBN 0-374-31145-5 Sept.).