The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
and the

      Eric Carle is a prolific author and illustrator whose pictures are collages. Collages are pictures made from putting pieces together to create a new whole.  Carle didnít invent the idea of using collage to illustrate children's books. Artists like Leo Lion and Ezra Jack Keats made collages to illustrate their books.  Before book illustrators began to use the technique of collage in the 1950's, the art technique of collage was made famous by artists like Matisse and Picasso.

        Mr. Carle begins with plain white tissue paper and paints it with different colors.  He uses acrylics, rather than water colors or oil paint. He uses many different tools to paint his tissue paper.  Sometimes he uses his fingers, brushes, sponges, burlap, or a piece of carpet.  The sponges, burlap and carpet are used to stamp the papers to create different textures.  Scissors are used to cut the paper into the desired shape and wallpaper paste glues the shapes onto a bigger illustration board to make the final picture.

        For the pictures Eric Carle used to illustrate the cover for The Very Hungry Caterpillar the tissue paper was cut into ellipses to make the body.  But something else makes the caterpillar's hair.  Look at the book's title and Eric Carle's name. What other tools did Eric Carle use to "finish" his picture?

        The National Center for Illustrated Children's Art, located in Abilene, Texas, recognizes of the artistic achievements of illustrators and supports touring exhibitions of their works. In order to stimulate creativity, promote literacy and to increase appreciation for art, the Center offers educational programs that relate to illustrations in children's literature.  Current touring exhibits highlight the works of David Diaz, Kevin Henkes, Ezra Jack Keats, Brian & Jerry Pinkney, and Ed Young, among others.

        An engaging website that offers insight into "the anatomy" of a children's picture book, various artistic media and styles, and numerous high quality resources, visit Picturing Books.  This site offers a list of criteria for evaluating the story line, illustrations, design, and overall physical aspects of children's books that help parents and teachers make good decisions as they select children's literature for their homes and classrooms.

The American Library Association and its member units seek to honor, through its
many awards programs, individuals who have rendered
distinguished service to libraries and librarianship.

Check out Opportunities & Honors to see what awards are available
at the American Library Association, in addition to those listed below.

Coretta Scott King Awards




M. E. Dallman's HUB page


Caldecott Medal Books


Authors and Illustrators You Should Know