Laura Ingalls Wilder Award

About the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
The award, a bronze medal, honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

Administered by:

Association for Library Service to Children logo

2003 Winner(s)

Eric Carle

"Eric Carle's visual observations of the natural world encourage the imagination and often mirror the larger changes in a young child's development and experience," said Chair Ginny Moore Kruse, former director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin - Madison.  "His keen knowledge and genuine appreciation of nature undergird his vivid, often humorous artwork, providing a deeply satisfying complexity."


Born in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1929, Carle moved with his parents to Germany in 1935.  He came back to the United States in 1952, first working as a graphic designer for The New York Times.  Later, his work was noticed by Bill Martin, Jr., who invited Carle to illustrate his text for the still-popular picture book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Holt, 1967).

While Ann Beneduce edited the first books Carle wrote and illustrated for very young children, Philomel editor Patricia Lee Gauch has published most of Carle's later books.  Carle's noteworthy works include The Very Hungry Caterpillar (World, 1969), a classic translated into more than two dozen languages; Do You Want to Be My Friend? (Crowell, 1971); Why Noah Chose the Dove written by Isaac Bachevis Singer (Farrar, Staus and Giroux, 1974); From Head to Toe (HarperCollins, 1997); and "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly" said the Sloth (Philomel, 2002).  Carle's own The Art of Eric Carle (Philomel, 1996) summarizes a substantial portion of his distinguished career.