On a train ride in 1966, the title phrase Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
popped into Bill Martin Jr.’s head. Later, he spotted an illustration of a red
lobster in a magazine and contacted the creator, Eric Carle, to ask if he would
illustrate his poem. So began Eric Carle’s career as a children’s book
illustrator—along with a life-long collaborative friendship with Bill Martin Jr.!
Since then, Brown Bear and the three
companion titles, Polar Bear, Panda Bear, and Baby Bear, have gone on to sell
millions of copies worldwide.
The Bear books are a cultural landmark and a key milestone in
many children’s reading lives. And many adults today remember reading the Bear
books themselves as well as the experience of reading them for the first time to
their own children. Whether in a picture book or a reader, and now in eBook and
audio, the same bold graphics and repetitive, rhythmic text have truly stood
the test of time.
Throughout Eric Carle’s career, he has shown an unshakeable
commitment to artistic integrity and a dedication to making art accessible to
children. His skillfully designed and beautifully rendered collage art is
admired by fellow artists, colleagues and fans in equal measure. And in 2002,
with his wife Barbara, Eric founded The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
in Amherst, Massachusetts, the first museum of its kind in the United States.
--Laura Godwin, Vice President and Publisher, Henry Holt
Books for Young Readers