‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ author Eric Carle has died at 91

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NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08: Author Eric Carle attends Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” at The New York Public Library on October 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Jumpstart)

NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Carle, the beloved children’s author and illustrator whose classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other works gave millions of kids some of their earliest and most cherished literary memories, has died at age 91.

Carle’s family says he died Sunday at his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, with family members at his side. The family’s announcement was issued by Penguin Young Leaders.

NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08: Actress Mary-Louise Parker and author Eric Carle attend Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” at The New York Public Library on October 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Jumpstart)

Through books like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” “Do You Want to Be My Friend?” and “From Head to Toe,” Carle introduced universal themes in simple words and bright colors.

“The unknown often brings fear with it,” he once observed. “In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.”

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” published in 1969, was welcomed by parents and delighted kids with its story of the metamorphosis of a green and red caterpillar with a touch of blue and brown to a proudly multi-colored butterfly.

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