Eric Carle's best books - with math, science, and ELA activities included!
Children's author Eric Carle has been creating his distinctive original art and stories for over 40 years. His illustrations are large, colorful collages made with hand-painted paper that Carle layers together. His work is now featured in The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This gallery features our Top 10 Favorite Books written and illustrated by Eric Carle, and also includes a related activity for each book.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
A young caterpillar eats its way through all manner of foods before *spoiler alert* becoming a butterfly at the end of the book. With more than 12 million copies sold, it's one of the best-selling books of all time.
How do you bring the moon down to earth? With a very long ladder, of course. But in Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, a young girl finds out that her new playmate refuses to stay the same size for very long.
A ladybug challenges another ladybug to a fight because she doesn't want to share her aphids. But before the fight begins, she decides the ladybug she challenged isn't big enough to be worth her time. She goes off and challenges all kind of animals to a fight, until she meets a blue whale, who slaps her back to her starting point. She sees the same ladybug she had challenged before, but this time with a new perspective.
Activity: All About Ladybugs. Try this printable that's packed with information on ladybugs.
From Head to Toe
This book is less a story than an exercise book for children. Each page features an animal and a motion for the child to mimic, with the question "Can you do it?" The reply in each case is "I can do it," giving the child confidence to get moving.
Activity: My Favorite Exercise. Children learn about exercise by labeling the activities that keep a body fit.
The Very Quiet Cricket
A newborn cricket quickly discovers he can't talk. He meets many different insects, but can't say hello to any of them. Finally, as night approaches he meets another quiet cricket very much like him, and this time he can chirp.
Activity: Am I an Insect? This drawing activity focuses on the essential characteristics of insects.
The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Chameleon finds life a bit dull until he's introduced to an amazing array of animals during a visit to the zoo. The lizard gets its wish to acquire what he considers the other animals' most enviable traits. The result is a mixed-up chameleon indeed!
Activity: The Hungry Chameleon. In this math activity, children identify a number and draw the correct amount of insects that a hungry chameleon hopes to catch.
The Very Lonely Firefly
While searching for companionship on a dark night, a lonely firefly encounters many different types of lights before he finally finds a group of fireflies. Children are treated to a surprise when they turn to the last page of the book: a flashing group of fireflies.
The Very Busy Spider
Spider wakes up at dawn determined to build a web with her silky thread. An assiduous worker, she's not tempted by the many alluring offers presented to her by her barnyard friends. Her diligence pays off when she easily snares her dinner in the web.
Activity: Spider Webs. This printable science activity focuses on facts about spider webs. Children match spiders to the correct web.
Do You Want to Be My Friend?
A lonely gray mouse searches for companionship, encountering creatures large and small. Mouse asks each animal, "Do you want to be my friend?" Mouse experiences disappointment along the way, but ends up thrilled to find a friend in another mouse.
Jack wakes up with a rumble in his belly and decides he wants pancakes for breakfast. Before his mother can indulge his wish, he must gather flour from the mill, an egg from the black hen, milk from the spotted cow, butter churned from fresh cream, and firewood for the stove.
Activity: Good Morning! Children learn about the four food groups by adding foods to a breakfast menu.