Tributes Pour In For Eric Carle, Creator Of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Who Has Passed Away Aged 91

by : Cameron Frew on : 27 May 2021 08:25
Tributes Pour In For Eric Carle, Creator Of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Who Has Passed Away Aged 91PA Images

Social media is filled with tributes for Eric Carle, the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, who recently died aged 91.

Over the course of his career, Carle authored and illustrated a large number of children’s books, starting with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? in 1967.


Two years later, his tale of a particularly peckish caterpillar became a worldwide sensation, having sold more than 50 million copies since it was published. Thousands, if not millions around the world are familiar with his stories, with tweets pouring in paying tribute to Carle.

Carle passed away from kidney failure on May 23. ‘In the light of the moon, holding on to a good star, a painter of rainbows is now traveling across the night sky,’ a family statement said.

‘Oh, man. Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear defined my childhood. All killer, no filler. Thank you, Eric Carle, for the joy of reading. RIP,’ one social media user wrote.


‘Ah Eric Carle. Nobody ever managed such a strong combination of bright life and dignity in the work. The books still feel like clear-eyed statements of design and deep love for the form. All I ever wanted to make was a cover as good as these. RIP,’ another tweeted.

The Eric Carle Museum, founded by the author and his wife Barbara Morrison in 2002, also wrote, ‘Our hearts are heavy tonight with the loss of our beloved co-founder Eric Carle who has passed away. He was our friend, our inspiration, and a creative visionary for generations of artists and children.’

US band The Mountain Goats tweeted, ‘It is impossible to estimate the number very young lives in which his gentle, curious voice has made a difference. Wonder, delight, the comfort of a familiar voice. Thanks, Eric Carle, for unforgettable times with my sons when they were very small.’


The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea wrote, ‘Oh man, I love Eric Carle. Cannot count the times my children and I were cuddled up, completely enraptured in the glory of his books. He was a gift to humanity. Love forever, broken through to the other side, Eric Carle.’

Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review, wrote, ‘RIP Eric Carle – genius, visionary, children’s literature advocate, artist, human being, defender of the art of illustration. You made us all want to reach for the moon.’


In 2019, Carle spoke to BBC News about the everlasting popularity of his book. ‘For many years, my publisher and editor and I did not know the reason for The Very Hungry Caterpillar being so popular,’ he said.

‘But over time, I’ve come to feel that it is a book of hope. And it is this hopeful feeling that has made it a book readers of all ages enjoy and remember,’ he added.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Books, Now, US


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Eric Carle: Very Hungry Caterpillar author dies aged 91