Eric Carle was born in the United States in 1929 but spent his boyhood in Germany. At that time, the repressive Nazi regime forbade creating or displaying modern, expressionistic or abstract art, which they called "degenerate." But one day, when Eric was twelve or thirteen years old, his art teacher, Herr Krauss, secretly showed him some of the forbidden art. "I like the freedom and the looseness in the way you draw and paint," he said, "but I am only permitted to teach realistic art." And, pointing to the reproductions, he went on: "Just look at the looseness, the freedom and—ah!—he beauty of these paintings. The Nazis have no idea what art is; they are charlatans!" At first young Eric was shocked by the art and feared the Herr Krauss had gone mad. Now Eric says, "My green lion, polka-dotted donkey and other animals painted in the 'wrong' colors were really born that day seventy years ago."

Franz Marc was born in Germany in 1880. He loved to paint animals in bright and unusual colors. At the time some traditional critics objected to his new ideas and his unconventional paintings, stylized in form and unrealistic in color. But Marc and some other like-minded artists formed an art group that was highly influential in the modern and expressionist movements. His paintings of blue horses are particularly famous. Franz Marc was killed in World War I. In the pocket of his uniform was found a sketchbook with thirty-six pencil drawings that, as he wrote to his wife, he was planning to make into oil paintings upon his return.

Healthy Eating

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Academy of Pediatrics have joined with the best-selling children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, to help families learn about healthy eating habits.

  • Download a copy of the Eating Healthy. Growing Strong. parent handout that contains information about healthy eating for young children, as well as ideas for discussing healthy active living using the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  • Download a very special growth chart developed in collaboration with The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Visit the Alliance's website and the Academy's website to find out more about this collaboration.

Featured Books

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book
Eric Carle

Celebrating the 40th anniverary of one of the most popular children's books, this pop-up edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the perfect new platform for the classic caterpillar.

Read More
$29.99 |

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle

"Gorgeously illustrated, brilliantly innovative..."
The New York Times Book Review

Read More
$21.99 |

The Very Hungry Caterpillar™ & Friends Play & Explore, 3D Interactive Pop-up Ap

Play eight games in this stunning 3D pop-up app for kids aged two and up. Feed the world's hungriest Caterpillar, play hide-and-seek with Mister Seahorse's babies, grow The Tiny Seed into a beautiful flower, all the while discovering amazing animal facts and learning math skills. Produced by StoryToys, the leading publisher of interactive books and games for children. Out soon on all major app stores. Learn More »

My Very Hungry Caterpillar App

My Very Hungry Caterpillar sees Eric Carle's much-loved character come to life in 3D for the very first time in this beautiful interactive app. Children can care for their very own Very Hungry Caterpillar, play with him, feed him, help him explore, pick him up or take a peek into his colorful toy box. The 3D animation captures the unique style of Eric Carle's award winning art, delivering a wonderful new experience for the millions of fans of the best-selling classic children's book. Produced by StoryToys, the leading publisher of interactive books and games for children. Out now on the App Store. Learn More »

*Winner of the 2015 BolognaRagazzi Digital Award*

The Very Hungry Catepillar Zoobie