Carle described the children’s classic, which sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, as a “book of hope.”
Eric Carle, the acclaimed author and illustrator best known for the children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has died at the age of 91, according to a statement from his publisher that was shared on his official Instagram account.
The book, first published in 1969, features a caterpillar that eats through many foods over the course of a week before finally emerging as a beautiful butterfly.
With its distinctive artwork and subtle educational concepts, the book has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 60 languages.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other beloved classics, died on May 23 at the age of 91,” wrote editor Penguin Kids , in the statement posted on Twitter.
The Washington Post said the author died Sunday at his home in Northampton, Massachusetts.
“When asked why he thinks The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been popular for so long, Carle said,‘ I think it’s a book of hope. Children need hope. You, insignificant caterpillar, can become a beautiful butterfly and fly into the world with your talent, ”the statement said on its official Instagram account.
“Thank you, Eric Carle, for sharing your great talent with so many generations of young readers,” he added.
It is with heavy hearts that we share that Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other beloved classics, died on May 23 at the age of 91.
– Penguin Kids (@penguinkids) May 26, 2021
Tributes to the author spread on social media, including the rich and famous.
“Eric Carle is dead, but he left us the unforgettable books of Caterpillar Hungry, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, which I read to my children and now to my grandchildren,” actress Mia Farrow tweeted. “He loves his thoughts with his family and is very grateful to Mr. Carle.”
Carle published more than 70 titles, distinguished by her quaint works of art, such as Bear Brown, Brown Bear, What Do You See ?, The Grouchy Ladybug, and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me.
In addition to her work as a children’s author, Carle was a prominent artist and designer.
When he was 87, he embarked on a series of cardboard and abstract, collages made from recycled materials depicting angels, which he dedicated to artist Paul Klee.
Carle’s website published a drawing and poem in honor of the author:
In the moonlight
clinging to a good star,
a rainbow painter
now he travels through the night sky