top of page

185 Inspirational Eric Carle Quotes: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

1. “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. ”


2. I try to express the essence of my stories and ideals very clearly, using simple shapes. -Eric Carle


3. “I also try to keep an open mind, to listen to my intuition and allow for the unexpected, the coincidental. ” – Eric Carle


4. “The hardest part is developing the idea, and that can take years”


5. “To have spent some time with Eric Carle was the closest thing one could get to hanging out with the actual Santa Claus,” wrote Jarrett J. Krosoczka, bestselling author of books including the Lunch Lady series, on Twitter. “His books and his advocacy for the arts will continue to ripple through time. But we in the children’s book community will miss him terribly.”


6. We have so much pollution out in the air. Our eyes are being polluted. We have visual pollution out there, and I have a very strong sense about that. ”


7. The lovely feeling of my pencil touching paper, a crayon making a star shape in my sketchbook, or my brush dipping into bright and colorful paints — these things affect me as joyfully today as they did all those years ago. ”


8. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do. ”


9. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ”


10. “The hardest part is developing the idea, and that can take years. ” – Eric Carle


11. “In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf”


12. “It’s taken me a long time to realize—and it is sinking in—how important this book is. And I have a certain distance now. I’ve done it such a long time ago. ” – Eric Carle


13. “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ”


14. I loved the feel of the pencil, the way the line grew as I pulled the pencil toward me, the way it swerved and turned, curling around itself. ” From “The Art of Eric Carle”


15. “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want. ”


16. “On Wednesday he ate through three plums, but he was still hungry.”


17. Don’t forget to have art in your life – music, paintings, theater, dance, and sunsets. -Eric Carle


18. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. ”


19. “I do not need to be in a special place to think. I have carried on my thinking while sitting in the subway or standing in line at the market, or when I am riding on a train or plane. ” ~ Eric Carle


20. “Now he wasn’t hungry any more- and he wasn’t a little caterpillar any more.”


21. “If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done. ”


22. “I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener. ”


23. “The habits that took years to build, do not take a day to change. ”


24. “One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and - pop! - out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”


25. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. ”


26. “I do my best to simplify and refine, to be logical and harmonious. But I also try to keep an open mind, to listen to my intuition and allow for the unexpected, the coincidental, even the quirky to enter into my work. Ultimately, my aim is to entertain, and sometimes to enlighten, the child who still lives inside of me. This is always where I begin.


27. Now wholly in the lap of whatever god has been appointed the job of protecting small boys. - Author: Stephen King


28. The hardest part is developing the idea, and that can take years. -Eric Carle


29. “Our preschool is caterpillar-themed with all of his wonderful and inspiring books and educational activities,” wrote teacher Marion Butlin in the guestbook. “I have taught for 25 years and Eric Carle is the first author my children learn about.”


30. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win. ”


31. “Ever since I was very young, as far back as I can remember, I have loved making pictures. I knew even as a child that, when I grew up, I would be an artist of some kind. The lovely feeling of my pencil touching paper, a crayon making a star shape in my sketchbook, or my brush dipping into bright and colorful paints — these things affect me as joyfully today as they did all those years ago.”


32. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live. ”


33. “On Saturday, he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon That night he had a stomach ache.”


34. “I also try to keep an open mind, to listen to my intuition and allow for the unexpected, the coincidental.”


35. It is through imagination that we can visualize new possibilities and make dreams come true. ”


36. “Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry: Worry never fixes anything. ”


37. “The first step to getting anywhere is deciding you’re no longer willing to stay where you are. ”


38. “He built a small house, called a cocoon, around himself. He stayed inside for more than two weeks. Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and...


39. “We have eyes, and we’re looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important.”


40. I'd love to knock an audience cold with one note, but what do you do for the rest of the evening? - Author: Eric Clapton


41. “I started keeping a journal, and the first 44 pages are all drawings of butterflies! ” ~ Eric Carle


42. “In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf. ”


43. “Ultimately, my aim is to entertain, and sometimes to enlighten, the child who still lives inside of me. ” – Eric Carle


44. “I knew even as a child that, when I grew up, I would be an artist of some kind. ” – Eric Carle


45. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. ””


46. “What we’re actually seeing, especially on sites like Goodreads, which I would think would be more scholastic… you’ll find that misattributed quotes are just rife,” said Craig.


47. “Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. ”


48. “Simplify, slow down, be kind. And don’t forget to have art in your life – music, paintings, theatre, dance, and sunsets.”


49. “Ultimately, my aim is to entertain, and sometimes to enlighten, the child who still lives inside of me.”


50. “As a child everything in my environment seemed to me incredibly important, and I drew incessantly from the moment I could hold a pencil.” ~ Eric Carle


51. “My own style grew out of my work as a graphic designer. I try to express the essence of my stories and ideals very clearly, using simple shapes, often in bright colors against a white background. You might almost think of my illustrations, and especially the cover art, as little posters.”


52. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear was kind of my first important book”


53. “Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions. ”


54. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. ”


55. “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ”


56. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important. ”


57. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. ”


58. “The secret to my success is that I never, ever give up.”


59. “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. ”


60. “On Monday he at through one apple.”


61. I’m glad I found my way home. ” From “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse”


62. I knew even as a child that, when I grew up, I would be an artist of some kind. -Eric Carle


63. “You can never have too much imagination.” ~ Eric Carle


64. “Now he wasn’t hungry any more- and he wasn’t a little caterpillar any more. ”


65. Look closely, and you will discover its wonders. ”


66. “More than anything else I can think of, writing helps me to understand myself. It is an excellent tool for exploring feelings – mine as well as those of others.” ~ Eric Carle


67. “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present. ”


68. “Let’s put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it, and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words, and I reduce it to 20. ” – Eric Carle


69. “My own style grew out of my work as a graphic designer. ” – Eric Carle


70. “This gives me a small idea of what people are up against when someone is quoted,” he said. “I assume that your mother got misquoted in a popular source and it just spread like wildfire.”


71. “I do my best to simplify and refine, to be logical and harmonious.”


72. “If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs. ”


73. “I'm not a fan of computers or digital technology, but I can't ignore their place in our lives. I've accepted the inevitability of their presence – but I'm not yet comfortable with what digital media has done to books.” ~ Eric Carle


74. He stayed inside for more than two weeks. Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and… he was a beautiful butterfly!”


75. “If people are not laughing at your goals, your goals are too small. ”


76. And don’t forget to have art in your life – music, paintings, theater, dance, and sunsets. ”


77. The Very Hungry Caterpillar story is about hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future - Author: Eric Carle


78. “I try to express the essence of my stories and ideals very clearly, using simple shapes.”


79. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar story is about hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future. ” – Eric Carle


80. “I am excited about all kinds of art, but I consider myself a writer foremost and an artist secondarily. It is the words that come first in my own mind. The pictures are illustrations for the text.” ~ Eric Carle


81. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. ”


82. “Making a picture book is like telling a story with pictures.” ~ Eric Carle


83. Provide them with tools and opportunities, and watc*h them bloom. ”


84. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ”


85. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. ”


86. “Papa, please get the moon for me.”


87. “But he was still hungry.”


88. “He was a big, fat caterpillar.”


89. “I can't explain it, but I can illustrate it.” ~ Eric Carle


90. “One day, I think it’s the greatest idea ever that I’m working on. The next day I think it’s the worst that I’ve ever worked on—and I swing between that a lot. ” – Eric Carle


91. “He built a small house, called a cocoon, around himself. He stayed inside for more than two weeks. Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and… he was a beautiful butterfly!”


92. Children's picture books


93. One day I think it’s the greatest idea ever that I’m working on, The next day I think it’s the worst that I’ve ever worked on. -Eric Carle


94. “The caterpillar ate through one nice green leaf, and after that he felt much better.”


95. “It’s part of the tourist industry,” she said, “and I think Dickens was one of the first authors to establish that kind of a following.”


96. I don't think any Australian will ever forget, there will never be a Carbon Tax under a government I lead. - Author: Nigel Scullion


97. One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and - pop! - out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar. - Author: Eric Carle


98. “The secret to my success is that I never, ever give up. ” – Eric Carle


99. “I have always strived to create entertaining and educational books, books that children will want to read again and again.”


100. I knew even as a child that, when I grew up, I would be an artist of some kind. The lovely feeling of my pencil touching paper, a crayon making a star shape in my sketchbook, or my brush dipping into bright and colorful paints — these things affect me as joyfully today as they did all those years ago. ”


101. “There's a picture worth a thousand words.” ~ Eric Carle


102. The world will still be there when you get back, and it will look better. ”


103. “It ran entirely contrary to the message of the book. The caterpillar is, after all, very hungry, as sometimes we all are,” said Carle.


104. “When someone tells me “no,” it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them. ”


105. “We have eyes, and we’re looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important. ” – Eric Carle


106. “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. ”


107. Ultimately, my aim is to entertain, and sometimes to enlighten, the child who still lives inside of me. -Eric Carle


108. “If you want to change the world, start with one child. ” – Eric Carle


109. Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal


110. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. ”


111. International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)


112. “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. ”


113. The next day I think it’s the worst that I’ve ever worked on – and I swing between that a lot. Some days I’m very happy with what I’m doing, and the next day I am desperate – it’s not working out! And then finally, it’s just right – and that just right, it’s just a feeling. There’s nothing scientific about it. ”


114. “Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise. ”


115. “I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t. ”


116. I do my best to simplify and refine, to be logical and harmonious. -Eric Carle


117. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ”


118. “Today i will do what others won't so tomorrow i can do what others can’t. ”


119. ” From “The Tiny Seed”


120. “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse. ”


121. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story is about hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future.


122. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important. ” ~ Eric Carle


123. “Dreams are seeds that grow.” ~ Eric Carle


124. “On Saturday, he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon


125. “Children need hope,” he said in a video released by his publisher, Penguin Random House, in 2019. “You, little insignificant caterpillar, can grow up into a beautiful butterfly and fly into the world with your talent.”


126. “If you want to change the world, start with one child.”


127. “My favorite thing to draw is people. I've drawn them all of my life… drawn them on the subway, traveled with my sketchbook in hand always ready to draw the people around me.” ~ Eric Carle


128. “Simplify, slow down, be kind. And don’t forget to have art in your life – music, paintings, theater, dance, and sunsets.”


129. “You know, now it’s sinking in. It’s taken me a long time to realize – and it is sinking in – how important this book is. And I have a certain distance now. I’ve done it such a long time ago.”


130. “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. ”


131. And that purpose is to bring joy to those around us. ”


132. “One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”


133. Simplify, slow down, be kind. -Eric Carle


134. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. ”


135. “The lovely feeling of my pencil touching paper, a crayon making a star shape in my sketchbook, or my brush dipping into bright and colorful paints—these things affect me as joyfully today as they did all those years ago. ” – Eric Carle


136. “He took me for long walks and explained things to me,” the illustrator told NPR in 2007.


137. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear was king of my first important book. ” – Eric Carle


138. I admit that. But for me, all my life I try to simplify things. As a child in school, things were very hard for me to understand often, and I developed a knack, I think. I developed a process to simplify things so I would understand them. ”


139. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future. “


140. I think it’s a message of hope. It says: I too can grow up. I too can unfold my wings and fly into the world. ”


141. “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts. ”


142. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. ”


143. “I try to express the essence of my stories and ideals very clearly, using simple shapes. ” – Eric Carle


144. “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. ”


145. I love that you can have the language between the two worlds of technology and fashion, because I don't think that many designers get to do that. - Author: Stella McCartney


146. They can be found in the simplest things. ”


147. For instance, they can remind us that miracles are possible every day. ” From “Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me”


148. “I have been asked if when I draw I know how it will turn out – if there is an image already in my head of what the finished drawing will look like. I don't know, really.” ~ Eric Carle


149. “We have eyes, and we're looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important.”


150. She was sensible and clever, but eager in everything; her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. - Author: Jane Austen


151. Author, designer, illustrator


152. “Let’s put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20”


153. “In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.”


154. I also try to keep an open mind, to listen to my intuition and allow for the unexpected, the coincidental. -Eric Carle


155. Men, if we are to serve our wives with a purposeful love that moves them steadily toward Christlikeness, we must be men of grace - men who revel in God's grace, speak of God's grace, model God's grace. - Author: Larry McCall


156. Will I be able to do that? Yes you will. ”


157. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. ”


158. I am as curious as a child, as imaginative, as ready for adventure, and I am still learning. ” From “Draw Me a Star”


159. I want to be encouraging but I can only offer the example of my own experience, which is just one approach. There are many wonderful picture book artists to learn about, which is important. But you must use your own imagination. You have to just do it. ”


160. “Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack. ”


161. Around the tenth time reading some of these books to your kids, you begin to develop some really strong opinions and questions about them


162. “On Monday he ate through one apple.”


163. “The activity you’re most avoiding contains your biggest opportunity. ”


164. A person who wasn't outraged on first hearing about quantum theory didn't understand what had been said. - Author: Niels Bohr


165. “They are deceptively simple. I admit that. But for me, all my life, I try to simplify things. ” – Eric Carle


166. “They are deceptively simple. I admit that. But for me, all my life I try to simplify things. As a child in school, things were very hard for me to understand often, and I developed a knack, I think. I developed a process to simplify things so I would understand them.”


167. Lifetime Achievement Winners. Society of Illustrators


168. “Simplify, slow down, be kind. And don’t forget to have art in your life—music, paintings, theatre, dance, and sunsets. ” – Eric Carle


169. “One day I think it’s the greatest idea ever that I’m working on. The next day I think it’s the worst that I’ve ever worked on – and I swing between that a lot. Some days I’m very happy with what I’m doing, and the next day I am desperate – it’s not working out!”


170. “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you. ”


171. “That’s something I learned in art school. I studied design in Germany, and my professor emphasized the responsibility that designers and illustrators have towards the people they create things for. ” – Eric Carle


172. “I have always strived to create entertaining and educational books, books that children will want to read again and again. ” – Eric Carle


173. You can be playing a line some way and the director wants you to change that, or you can disagree. But I always think that the creative conversation between director and actor is what leads to good work. - Author: Ewan McGregor


174. “When 99% of people doubt your idea, you’re either gravely wrong or about to make history. ”


175. “I do my best to simplify and refine, to be logical and harmonious. ” – Eric Carle


176. “Kids are great teachers – very honest and without prejudice of any kind. They don't judge things like adults do, but accept everything at face value. ” ~ Eric Carle


177. “He was a big, fat caterpillar. ”


178. I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important. -Eric Carle


179. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”


180. “A year from now you may wish you had started today. ”


181. ’ That’s good advice for many things in life. ”


182. “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion. ”


183. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. ”


184. “On Wednesday he ate through three plums, but he was still hungry.”


185. “Just stick with it. What seems so hard now will one day be your warm up. ”


186. “I think the problem is a lot of these clips are very close to what we expect these authors to say,” Craig said. “It’s sentimental, and it strikes a chord with us.”

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

1. “Ah, if in this world there were no such thing as cherry blossoms, perhaps then in springtime our hearts would be at peace. ” — Ariwara no Narihira 2. “Cherry blossoms: fleeting treasures.” – Unkno

1. “Impossible” is not a word! 2. “I’ve never heard anyone profess indifference to a boat race. Why should you row a boat race? Why endure long months of pain in preparation for a violent half hour or

1. “Judgment is self-abandonment.” 2. “The only thing that was every wrong with me was my belief that there was something wrong with me.” 3. The epitome of womanhood is to lose one’s self completely.

Recent posts

bottom of page