Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Turning 80

Dear Friends,

Here I am with my mother in 1934 in Syracuse, NY. I was 5 years old when this photograph was taken, and now I am 80 years old.

Many things have happened between then and now, but I feel a strong connection to the child I once was, the child that is still inside. I can still remember while on a walk with my father, holding a lizard in my hands - the way it moved and pushed its head against the insides of my cupped hands; sitting in my Grandmother's lap and understanding her German words but not being able to respond; the support and kindness of my mother who encouraged my creative interests; I remember the light streaming in through the windows of my classroom, which I've thought of as my first experience of beauty.

There are so many moments that have stayed with me, or that come back if I scratch the surface of my memory by looking at an old photograph.

Eric Carle


  1. Happiest of birthdays to you, Mr. Carle! With love, from the Hillman Family in Florida. <3

  2. A very happy birthday, Mr. Carle. You remind me to celebrate each day, and to never lose the connection to the child within me.

    Thank you for the joy you have brought to our family with your wonderful stories and art.

  3. you were a tall boy! Your mom is beautiful!

  4. What a pretty lady your mom was. I hope that your birthday brings you much joy as you reflect on the past and plan for the future.

  5. i hope you had a wonderful birthday!

    thank you so much for all your stories & characters!

  6. Happy birthday, Mr. Carle! In case you didn't hear, it was announced on NPR's Writer's Almanac.

    Thank your for the smiles. I love your work.

    Warmest wishes for more of your books and many more birthdays,


  7. My son is turning 5 this year, and I often womder what kind of an impact the things we do, the things we talk about everyday will have on him in years to come. Turning 80 and still feeling strongly connected to the eric of yesteryear is something not everyone can say they are able to do. Being able to keep that curiosity and interest and enthusiasm throughout ones adulthood is an achievment. bravo to that. happy birthday eric. Many more years of inspired thought and shared thoughtfulness. Nothing is more rewarding than looking back and feeling satisfied, looking forward and feeling driven.Have a good one.

  8. Happy Birthday! I love the photo of you with your Mom.

  9. Happy Birthday to a truly talented artist!

  10. Mr. Carle,

    Thank you for your influence on my previous classrooms and now my own children at home. Your work is beautiful and I thank you for all your books, art, illustrations, and this blog.

    Happy Birthday,
    Sarah Cosper

  11. Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday dear Mr. Carle,
    Happy birthday to you!
    :) I hope it was a wonderful day.

  12. frohlische geburtstag!
    happy birthday mr. carle! :)

  13. What a wonderful photograph! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  14. Happy Birthday wishes from San Antonio Texas to the author and illustrator who has delighted millions of children and adults! Thank you, and enjoy your special day!

  15. Many Happy Belated Birthday Wishes Mr Carle from all of us here in Alberta canada :) Hope you have many happy returns.

  16. Happy Belated Birthday! I just discovered your blog today and am truly excited to be able to wish you much happiness as you have brought much joy to my family. I have many fond childhood memories thanks to you.

    Thank you for that!

    Melissa S.

  17. Happy Birthday, Mr. Carle! I hope you had a wonderful day.

    Love the photo of you and your mother. What a treasure that is!

    Wishing you lots of health and much success in all future endeavor.


  18. Happy Birthday! I enjoyed your books as a child, used your books to teach concepts to my students, and now I read your books to my own little boy. Thank you for all you have done to encourage children to love books.

  19. Dear Eric Carle,

    my name is Joke Debaere and I'm from Antwerp.

    I am a bookseller, and I love selling your wonderful books and looking at children who discover them.

    Wish you all the best ...


  20. Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Carle! You are truly a gift to all kids (old and young)

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Let me be one of the many to wish you a belated happy birthday.
    The world, including myself and children, have been greatly blessed by the masterpieces you have created.

  23. Thank you for continuing to love yourself and knowing yourself enough to stay connected to the young boy you still are in many ways.

  24. Happy Birthday, Eric Carle. I like your books. My name is Eric and we have the same first name.
    Eric M. Age 7

    Hi Eric Carle, I hope you are having a good time. I enjoy your books, I read them when I was little. I hope you still write books.
    Anthony M. Age 7

  25. We hope you had a lovely birthday. We think you are the loveliest 'caterpillar' we have ever known. May all your birthday wishes come true!!!

    With the greatest fondness,
    The Livingston family

  26. wow happy birthday! i didn't know you had a blog. your work is so inspiring! i recently got the mixed- up chameleon. really lovely!
    and your mom is so pretty too :)

  27. What a gift you have been to us all! Thank you!

  28. Dear Sir,
    your post makes me miss my mum so much. She passed away a year ago. Although she never read to me as a child, because she was almost illiterate, she gave me her love, strength and freedom to be an artist. I know this post is three years old, but it is one, like your books, that will stay with me for a very long time. Thank you for your inspiration and gifts to the world.
    With much admiration,