Friends and colleagues remember author, artist Eric Carle in Northampton

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Eric Carle

File – Author Eric Carle reads his classic children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” on the NBC “Today” television program in New York on Oct. 8, 2009, as part of Jumpstart’s 4th annual National Read for the Record Day. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Eric Carle passed away Sunday at his summer studio in Northampton at the age of 91.

Witty, humble, and kind. That’s how people who knew Eric Carle described the author and illustrator best known for his children’s books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

“To me the lasting legacy there is he wants children to fall in love with art and fall in love with reading and carry that throughout their lives,” said Alexandra Kennedy, executive director at Eric Carle Museum in Amherst.

She said Carle would often make the trip from his studio in Northampton to walk amongst the visitors at his museum.

“…And they’d inevitably go up to him and say ‘do you mind if I take my picture with you?’ and Eric would look at them and say ‘sure! only if you give me 25 cents,’” Kennedy said.

Since the announcement of his passing, the gift shop inside the museum has seen a lot of people coming through and buying some of his books. Taking a look at how he was able to express so much through color and story.

“I just felt like I wanted to pay our respects to Eric and [these flowers] just reminded me of the pages of his books,” Angela DiTerlizzi told 22News. Visiting the museum with vibrant flowers in hand, her and her husband Tony DiTerlizzi, the authors and illustrators of “Some Bugs” and “The Spiderwick Chronicles” respectively.

“He and I both shared a real passion for nature,” said Tony.

Both remembering Carle as a friend and a legend that defined children’s literature.

“I think he’s making the world beyond this one much more brighter and colorful and beautiful just like he did with this one,” said Angela.

Even in his final days, Carle was still creating art.

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