Beginning with his early days in Syracuse, N.Y., and his childhood in wartime Germany, this autobiography gives readers a glimpse at what shaped the artist's life, including essays on his work by his editors, a speech for the Library of Congress, and more than sixty full-color illustrations.
“One day, a fateful day for me, a publisher of so-called educational materials for preschool and primary-grade children asked me to illustrate one of their projects. But the project was poorly conceived and uninspiring. It reminded me of the German schoolroom of my childhood, with the small windows and hard pencils. "The project was scientifically designed by educational experts," I was told. Still, I knew that it wouldn't work, that children would be bored by it just as the child in me was. But shortly afterward, Dr. Bill Martin Jr, writer editor, and educator, asked me to illustrate his manuscript Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? What an inspiring approach! Now the large sheets of paper, the colorful paints and fat brushes of my earlier American school came to my mind. I was set on fire! It was possible, after all, to do something special, something that would show a child the joy to be found in books.”Eric Carle
“I didn't realize it clearly then, but my life was beginning to move onto its true course. The long, dark time of growing up in wartime Germany, the cruelly enforced discipline of my school years there, the dutifully performed work at my jobs in advertising--all these were finally losing their rigid grip on me. The child inside me--who had been so suddenly and sharply uprooted and repressed--was beginning to come joyfully back to life.”Eric Carle
“There are many kinds of young readers; each one is an individual and finds something different, something special, in a book.”Eric Carle
“In the task which I have set out to do, I sometimes feel exhilarated, at other times frustrated. Sometimes I feel that I am a great success, at other times that I am the worst of failures. But this simply means that one is living and growing within one's wide range of emotions.”Eric Carle
“He treats the child with great care, never attempting to overtax the child's ability, recognizing the child's limits. Children should not be forced to learn; they should enjoy play. Playfully, according to their abilities and talents, children will gain knowledge. So Eric Carle knows that learning will happen when the child is ready, not when the adult decides.”Dr. Viktor Christen
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