When you think of author and illustrator Eric Carle, what children’s book do you think of first?
Do you love the Brown Bear, Brown Bear series? Or are you a Hungry Little Caterpillar fan? That one is so popular it has its birthday as a holiday! Which is March 20th, so make sure to mark it on your caterpillar. I mean, calendar.
When I think about my favorite Eric Carle books, the children’s book titles I just mentioned don’t make the list. I know, I know, so many people would say that’s wrong. Especially considering The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 50 million copies worldwide. That’s a lot of hungry caterpillars!
But Eric Carle has an enormous and wonderful library, and there are a lot of great titles in it that should not be missed. Here are my favorites.
My 10 Favorite Eric Carle Books
A silly bit of nonsense drawn only as Eric Carle can! This funny picture book is great for laughs and for getting the imagination going. I love to read this one with my kids and then listen to the silly stories they make up about the silly scenarios on each page. You can watch this book being read in a video here.
Learn how a tiny seed grows in this vibrant book. You can even get a copy of it that has plantable paper; paper with seeds in it that you can plant. Plant the whole page and watch it grow after reading about seeds in this picture book.
One of my all-time favorites. Hermit Crab wants to decorate his new shell home, but how? Travel through the whole year with hermit crab and meet all kinds of friendly and beautiful sea creatures. A lovely story just right for ages four and up.
All kinds of interesting animal poems by other authors are brought to life with Eric Carle’s illustrations. Read this darling book to introduce children to poetry and the writing of Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and more. Compiled by Laura Whipple. If you like this one, you should also check out Dragons, Dragons: And Other Creatures That Never Were. Filled with poetry about mythical creatures coupled with Eric Carle’s art, it’s a magical experience.
This fantastic book introduces all kinds of words to babies and toddlers! Everything from different kinds of fruits to feelings, it is a great primer to build vocabulary. Contains over 200 important words to share.
Sloth likes to take things slow, no matter what the other animals think. Sloth stays true to himself always, which is the sweet message of this sloth-full story. You will also be introduced to lots of other animals that live near the sloth, like the caiman.
What do you see in the clouds? This little cloud makes himself into all different shapes in the sky. Read aloud this story then talk about the sky and your imagination! This one is in board book or picture book form.
Explore the alphabet with Eric Carle! There are different alphabet books with Eric Carle’s art, one that features The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but this one hosts an array of Carle’s art and characters. This version is meant for toddlers and up, though it has flip-up pages that might rip in very young hands.
A sweet little mouse is looking for a friend. Such a simple and brightly-colored book that can help young children think about friendships. Almost wordless, with bright pictures engaging enough for toddlers and up.
New Release! This one is filled with all kinds of Eric Carle animal art. Some of it has never been seen before! This book is big at 172 pages but still made for toddlers and up. A fun and vibrant way to explore favorite animals from A to Z.
Eric Carle’s library is immense with so many books that it’s hard to narrow a best list down to just ten book titles!
Carle wrote and illustrated so many fantastic books that they have been translated into 62 languages and are sold around the world. All for good reason!
There is even an Eric Carle Museum located in Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to spend a day there as a part of a professional development workshop. All the teachers I worked with got to explore the amazing art, the fantastic bookstore, and participate in an intensive art workshop in their studio. It was amazing!
Even if you can’t make it to the museum, you can still check out some of these favorite Eric Carle books. Which ones are on your bookshelf?