When I say 'Eric Carle' you probably think instantly of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. What you probably don't know about Mr. Carle is that he had a cray cray life before he started writing and illustrating children's literature.  He was born in America in 1929 but his family moved back to Germany when he was 6, and he graduated from the local art school there. When he was 15, the German government drafted him to help dig the Siegfried Line. He saw some horrible shit doing that, he would say later that his wife thought he had PTSD from it, and he didn't like to talk about it. Go figure.

Since he was born an American, he was always eager to get back to the states. He came back over with $40 when he was 23. He started working at The New York Times as a graphic designer. Then he got drafted into the US Army during the Korean War, stationed in Germany (WTF REALLY?!) as a mail clerk. He went back to The New York Times after that, and then went on to be an art director at an advertising agency.

It wasn't until the age of 38 that he started doing his forreal thang. He collaborated with Bill Martin. Jr. on a book called Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? From there it was ENTIRELY DOWNHILL! He wrote over 70 books. SEVENTY! The book that stands out from my childhood is The Grouchy Ladybug, because well, children with an at-ee-tood can relate.

LOOK AT THEM ALL!

SO MANY.

SO MANY.

Now that you've been schooled on Eric Carle, I suggest you get to buying all of these books for every child you know because OH MY HEAVENS are they perfect. Adorable, meaningful, and have I freaking mentioned adorable? Happy birthday, Eric Carle!

So, what do you think?