Eric Carle: Picture Writer

Rawn Fulton
Eric Carle
Music By: 
Production Company: 
Searchlight Films
Length in minutes: 
MPAA Rating: 
Publication Date: 
List Price: 
Short Review: 
Eric Carle, the beloved children’s book author and illustrator of such classics as <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</i>, invites viewers into his studio to hear how he gets ideas for his books and to see how he makes his pictures.
Long Review: 

Eric Carle, the beloved children’s book author and illustrator – or as he prefers to think of himself, “picture writer” – invites viewers into his studio for a glimpse into his life and work. With a Mozart piano concerto playing softly in the background, Eric Carle speaks directly to the camera in a very friendly and unassuming way. He talks openly and warmly about his life – where he gets his ideas for his books, and what it’s like to be an artist. Some of his reminiscences are aimed at children (“When I was your age, my grandmother showed me how to draw eight pointed stars”) and some are aimed more at adults. His natural storytelling abilities are evident as he shares warm memories of his childhood, and of the people in his life who encouraged him and nurtured his talents. He is disarmingly down-to-earth and never pretentious. This is never more evident than when he brings us into his studio to see how he creates his beautiful collages. He demonstrates how he makes his own papers by painting on tissue paper – and he clearly has lots of fun doing it. He uses both ends of the paintbrush, old pieces of carpet and even his fingers. His enthusiasm and joy in creating art and books for children comes shining through – and in his warm and open manner, he makes it clear he thinks anyone can do it – “If I can do it, you can do it.” Winner of the 1994 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video awarded by the American Library Association, this video can be hard to find in the obvious commercial channels. However, it is available for sale on Eric Carle’s own website – - which you should check out anyway because it’s a lot of fun!

Lauren Mayer
Large image: