Eric Carle's charming and exquisitely illustrated childrens' books—especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar—are warm memories for generations of adults. Carle died yesterday at 91, having published more than 70 books and sold more than 170 million copies.
Mr. Carle's career as a children's book author took off in his late 30s, and he made his name tapping into his inner child. "I had a lot of feelings, philosophical thoughts — at the age of 6," he told The Los Angeles Times in 1995. "The only way I got older and wiser was that I got better trained. But that brain and soul were at their peak." Describing himself as a "picture writer," Mr. Carle detailed much of his artistic process on his website. He usually began with plain tissue paper, painting it with different colors of acrylic paint. Working with brushes, fingers or miscellaneous objects — like a piece of carpet, sponge or burlap — he would cover the tissue paper with different textures.
The animated reading is always worth 7 minutes.