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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Remembering Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert

Two of our brightest stars and most important children’s book illustrators passed away recently. Eric Carle, who brought the world The Very Hungry Caterpillar, amongst so many other books, leaves behind a magnificent legacy and a museum with his name. Lois Ehlert, who could go toe-to-toe with Carle when it came to vibrant colors and books for the youngest of readers, may be best remembered for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, but has so many other titles to consider.

In honor of both of these magnificent creators, I thought I’d pull together links, photos, and information about the two of them from over the years. This blog can be such an interesting collection of miscellany, particularly when you consider my own terrible memory.

For Ms. Ehlert, some of the nicest things that comes up, when I look her up on my site, are the wide variety of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom inspired costumes that teachers wear:

One regret I truly have is that I failed to take a photograph of Ms. Ehlert when she was honored at the Eric Carle Honors in 2011. That year she sported what I described at the time as, “Imagine, if you will, jewelry constructed out of colorful paper, so beautifully done that rather than resemble an overly ambitious Kindergartener, the subject instead appears to be a walking book herself.” This is the only image I’ve been able to find that shows what I was talking about from a distance:

That’s how I’ll remember her best.

As for Mr. Carle, there’s so much to pull from. For example, there’s my favorite submission to the Re-Seussify Seuss content I held years ago. People were challenged to re-illustrate a Seuss book in the style of another artist. Here you can see Aaron Zenz putting a Carle spin on Green Eggs and Ham:

Here you can see the greatest cake ever to grace this earth. It made an appearance at a past Eric Carle Honor:

Here’s what happens when you let a literalist get ahold of the caterpillar:

Finally, here is a photograph of Eric Carle seated next to Judy Blume. My head floating between the two of them like some unholy demon. As is right.

We’ll miss you both. You can learn more about Eric’s remarkable life and share your condolences and memories with the Carle family at a special website.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Judy Weymouth says

    As I age and enter the stage of life some call “elderly”, a difficult issue is the frequency of saying farewell to individuals who have brought much joy to my life. Perhaps it is because of many happy experience sharing his works with children, several opportunities to spend time at the Eric Care Museum, his life and personality. I find I am deeply sad to learn of Eric Carle’s death.