The Best Traits And Limitations Of Eric Carle

2064 words - 8 pages

It was a recent trip to the Kohl’s Department Store in Springhill, TN that declared what children’s author would be the best fit for writing a paper that addresses the best traits and limitations of such a person. Kohl’s Department Stores are currently featuring and selling four of award winning children’s author and illustrator Eric Carle’s books and plush animals in support of their program Kohl’s Cares, which gives 100 percent of their profit to support health and education initiatives in communities all over the nation. The books The Mixed-Up Chameleon, The Hungry Caterpillar, The Foolish Tortoise, and The Grouchy Ladybug, and plush chameleons, caterpillars, tortoises, and ladybugs can be purchased separately for five dollars each (“Kohl’s Cares,” 2011). On the inside flap of the featured books is a personal message from Carle stating how delighted he is for his books to be a part of the Kohl’s Cares program. He further states, “Thank you for your interest in my books and for sharing them with special people in your life.” Eric Carle’s books and merchandise makes over $50 million per year (Setoodeh, 2009). It was the award winning publication of Carle’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar in 1969 that started the chain of events that is now an empire of merchandise in its own right (“Eric,” 2002). Carle’s family and friends have speculated to why and how one book could become so successful, and Carle remarks that “’it is a book about hope. If you’re an insignificant caterpillar, you can grow up to be a butterfly in the world’” (Setoodeh, 2009). Carle’s childhood was a difficult one filled with much tribulations due to World War II.
Carle grew up during wartime in Germany under the reign of Hitler and has related that it was a dark time in his life and that he was able to release his inner child by writing and illustrating children’s books (“Eric,” 2002). Stetooden (2009) reveals that it is possibly Eric Carle’s childhood that has provoked the sensational books illustrated and written by him. Carle’s family left New York after living there six years to return to his parents’ home of Germany. It was in Germany where Carle’s father was drafted into the German Army and then not seen for eight years as he became a prisoner in Russia. The years of war and time without his father took toil on the author/illustrator. A frail father eventually returned, and Carle had to rely on his early memories of his father to encourage him and even give him artistic inspiration. Carle recalls one such memory that has inspired many of his books involving nature as he related that he and his father “used to go for long walks in the countryside together, and he would peel back tree bark to show me what was underneath it, lift rocks to reveal the insects. As a result, I have an abiding love and affection for small insignificant animals” (“Eric”). With his creativity and inner child, Carle who is now in his eighties has illustrated over 70 books, and he...

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