‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ author and illustrator Eric Carle dies, age 91

May 27, 2021
Eric Carle passed away on Sunday. Source: Eric Carle/Facebook

Children’s book author and illustrator Eric Carle, whose classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar along with other works gave millions of youngsters some of their earliest memories, has passed away, aged 91.

According to his family, the celebrated creative died on Sunday from kidney failure at his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, with family members at his side.

Carle wrote and illustrated more than 70 books during his life, selling more than 170 million copies, but it was The Very Hungry Caterpillar that was by far his best-known book. Selling more than 55 million copies around the world since it was first published in 1969, the colourful book charmed generations of children and parents alike.

A statement released on his Facebook, the “Eric Carle Team” announced his passing and remembered the amazing legacy he left behind. “It is with heavy hearts that we share that Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other beloved classics, passed away on Sunday, May 23rd, at the age of 91,” the statement said.

“When asked why he thinks The Very Hungry Caterpillar has remained popular for so long, Carle said, ‘I think it is a book of hope. Children need hope. You, little insignificant caterpillar, can grow up into a beautiful butterfly and fly into the world with your talent.’

“Thank you, Eric Carle for sharing your great talent with so many generations of young readers. #RememberingEricCarle”


Fans have quickly flocked to social media to pay tribute to the man who lit up so many children’s lives.

Which book of Carle's will you remember most fondly?

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