Eric Carle, the author and illustrator of the iconic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has died at the age of 91.
His death was confirmed on his official website after he passed away on May 23.
The cause of death is currently unknown.
Carle is the author of many other children’s book classics such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, The Grouchy Ladybug and The Very Busy Spider.
A beautiful quote in his memory published on his website read: “In the light of the moon, holding on to a good star, a painter of rainbows is now traveling across the night sky.”
His official Twitter page also confirmed his passing: “From the Eric Carle Team: It is with heavy hearts that we share that Eric Carle, author & illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other beloved classics, passed away on 23rd at the age of 91.
“Thank you for sharing your talent with generations of young readers.”
Penguin Kids Books also shared their condolences on its Twitter page.
Its Tweet read: “It is with heavy hearts that we share that Eric Carle, author & illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other beloved classic.
“Thank you for sharing your great talent with generations of young readers.”
The talented author and illustrator had been involved in producing over 70 children’s books, most of which featured animals and insects.
He released The Very Hungry Caterpillar in 1969 and it went on to sell over 50 million copies.
In a commemorative video for Penguin in 2019, he said the book was “a book of hope”.
“Children need hope. You, little insignificant caterpillar, can grow up into a beautiful butterfly and fly into the world with your talent,” he said.
“Will I ever be able to do that? Yes, you will. I think that is the appeal of that book.”
Carle, who was born in New York, said his love of nature came from his father’s tenacity for finding it.
“I think it started with my father. He took me for long walks and explained things to me,” he told NPR in 2007.