“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.”

This quote is from the famous children’s author and illustrator, Eric Carle, who recently passed away at the age of 91.

I believe Eric lived these words through his text and colorful artwork for children.

His contribution of more than 70 books is profound and well documented with many awards and recognitions. His best-selling book was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” He stated, “It’s a story of hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future.” What a beautiful analogy!

As an educator, I saw this book, along with all of his works, as a teacher of sight words (colors, numbers, days of the week, rhyming). He encouraged the reluctant reader.

He inspired the emergent reader, for many of his texts could be memorized. His artwork technique (a collage method) is used in art classes, everywhere. Clothing, teacher and toy stores have used his name to accompany his books.

Closing words from this icon of children’s literature: “Simplify, slow down, be kind, and don’t forget to have art in your life – music, paintings, theater, dance, and sunsets.”

Thank you, Eric Carle, for your contribution to children and families, everywhere.

Todd Cole

New Wilmington

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