When a fictional caterpillar nibbles on an apple, two pears, three plums, four strawberries, five oranges, a piece of chocolate cake, an ice cream cone, a pickle, a slice of Swiss cheese, a slice of salami, a lollipop, a piece of cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake and a slice of watermelon, it might get stomachache.
But he could also become the star of one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.
Eric Carle, the artist and author who created this creature in his book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” a tale that charmed generations of children and parents, died Sunday at his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts . He was 91 years old.
His son, Rolf, said the cause was kidney failure.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” Mr. Carle’s best-known book, has sold over 55 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1969, its only 224 words translated into more than 70 languages. It’s one of more than 70 books Mr. Carle has published during his career, selling over 170 million copies, according to his publisher, Penguin Random House.
In 2003, he received the prestigious Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (now known as the Children’s Literature Legacy Award) from the American Library Association, which recognizes authors and illustrators whose books have made lasting contributions to children’s literature.